So you are wondering if pulling a copy of your credit report will hurt your overall credit score? That means you probably know at least a little about how your credit score is figured.
There are five factors that determine your credit score. A reduction in any one of those factors has the potential of causing your score to drop.
Before you panic, we will take a closer look at the factors.
Your FICO score is calculated using a combination of these five categories of credit information:
- Payment history – 35%
- The amount you owe – 30%
- The length of your credit history – 15%
- New accounts and recent inquiries – 10%
- Types and quality of credit you have – 10%
The fourth item on this list, new accounts and recent inquiries, is the one that concerns most people. But as you can see, that component is only responsible for 10 percent of your overall credit score.
Nevertheless, it is something that can move your score by a few points or more if you are not careful.
When you apply for a credit card, line of store credit, car loan or any other type of loan, the lender initiates a credit check.
This credit check then immediately shows on our credit report as a hard inquiry into our creditworthiness.
The reason credit rating bureaus consider this number is it is a possible indication of credit trouble.
When you apply for a new credit card, loan or line of store credit, it looks like you need another line of credit to meet your financial obligations.
That is why you need to be careful not to apply for too many cards at once.
“Rather than worry, take advantage
of protections Congress put in place.”
When pulling your credit report will not hurt you.
You should be checking your credit report information at least annually or more frequently if you suspect there are problems.
The federal government, under the Fair and Accurate Credit Reporting Act, mandates that each of us can check our credit report once each year at no cost.
This annual credit report check will not impact your credit score at all.
There are three major credit bureaus: Experian, Transunion and Equifax. You can get a free credit report from each of them at different points throughout the year.
This way, you can verify your credit report three times a year – all for free.
So rather than worry that your credit score and credit report will be negatively impacted by credit check inquiries, all of us should be taking advantage of the protections the U.S. Congress put in place for us.
Do yourself a favor and check your credit report frequently. This way, you can be sure nothing is hurting your good credit.