Credit Advice

Effect of getting your credit score from a third party

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Credit Advice

Effect of getting your credit score from a third party

Dear Experian,

I have read that there are two types of inquires, but what kind of inquiry results from this example. There is a credit card company that allows you to check your credit score through them. So, it’s a credit card company checking your score, but for the sole purpose of informing you as opposed to obtaining more credit. Does this hurt your credit score at all? I understand that it probably won't make me be declined for something, but I don't want it to hurt it at all. I'd rather not know my credit score than know it and be hurt by knowing it.

- CHR

Dear CHR,

You are correct that there are two types of inquiries. One affects credit scores. The other doesn’t. In this case, the inquiry almost certainly would not hurt credit scores.

Inquiries that you initiate by applying for credit are provided to lenders because they can indicate additional debt that is not shown yet as an account on your credit report. Those inquires can have influence credit scores, although the effect is usually very small.

Other types of inquires, such as for account monitoring by existing lenders, for making preapproved credit offers, or for requesting your personal credit report, are shown only to you. Those inquiries have no impact on credit scores.

Arrangements with third parties, such as credit monitoring services and the credit card company example, usually are structured so that the inquiries are treated like the second type of inquiry.

In this example, the credit card company is providing a personal service to you, but no credit account is involved. Therefore, the inquiry would likely be shown only to you on your personal report.

However, I encourage you to ask the credit card company how its program is structured. You also should check your credit report to verify that the inquiry is of the second type. That is the sure way to be certain about how the inquiry is being reported.

Thanks for asking.

- The "Ask Experian" team

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