Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

Will I hurt my credit score if I check it?

No, checking your credit score does not hurt your score. When you check your credit score, it's considered a soft inquiry, which does not influence your score. With many free services now available, you can check your score as often as you like without any negative consequences.

What is the difference between a hard credit inquiry and a soft credit inquiry?

A soft credit inquiry is a credit check that does not impact your credit score. Examples of soft inquiries include checking your own credit score, pre-approved credit card offers (you know, the annoying ones you get in the mail all the time), and background checks. 

In contrast, a hard credit inquiry is performed when you apply for credit and does typically impact your credit score, even if only slightly. Hard inquiries will remain on your credit report for up to two years. 

How often does my credit score change?

Your credit score will change anytime new information is added to it. So, if you’ve gotten a new credit card lately or just recently took out a mortgage, this will impact your score as a hard inquiry was likely done by your mortgage lender or credit card company. 

The frequency of credit score changes depends on how frequently creditors report new information to the credit bureaus. In general, you can expect your credit score to update at least once a month. 


Here are a few additional resources for anyone looking to understand their credit report and scores. 

  • Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s Credit Reports and Scores: This page offers information on how to obtain and read credit reports, how to dispute errors on credit reports, and how credit scores are calculated. It also provides guidance on how to improve credit scores and how to protect oneself from identity theft. 
  • This site allows individuals to request a free annual credit report from each of the three major credit bureaus. The site was created as a result of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), which requires these agencies to provide consumers with a free credit report once a year. 
  • How Your Credit Score Impacts Your Financial Future: FINRA offers an overview of credit scores, including how they’re calculated and why they’re important. It also explores the many ways that a credit score can impact an individual's financial future, from getting approved for loans and credit cards to securing a job or an apartment.
  • Experian Boost: Experian Boost is a completely free service that allows individuals to add positive payment history from utility and telecom bills to their Experian credit report. This can help individuals with thin credit files or less-than-perfect credit scores improve their credit standing.

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