Inquiries by existing creditors won’t hurt your credit scores

Dear Experian,

There are numerous credit checks performed by credit card companies I’m not active with. Does this lower my score?



Dear JRR,

I’m assuming from your question that these are companies with which you have accounts that you just don’t use. If so, the inquiries will have no impact at all on your credit scores.

Your existing creditors can check your credit report as part of their standard portfolio review process. Anytime your credit report is accessed, Experian adds a record of that access, called an inquiry.

There are two types of inquiries. The first are the result of your applications for credit or other services such as a cellular telephone or electric service in your apartment or house. Those inquiries are shown to other lenders and can affect your credit scores.

The second type includes account reviews such as those you describe, as well as preapproved credit offers, insurance applications, employment reviews and requests for your own credit report. Those inquiries appear only on your personal credit report. They are not shared with anyone else, so they don’t affect your credit scores at all.

You can find more about inquiries in my previous columns by using the search function on the Ask Max homepage. Just enter “inquiry.”

Thanks for asking.

- The “Ask Experian” team

Our policies for Ask Experian:

The information contained in Ask Experian is for educational purposes only and is not legal advice. You should consult your own attorney or seek specific advice from a legal professional regarding your particular situation. Please understand that Experian policies change over time. Posts reflect Experian policy at the time of writing. While maintained for your information, archived posts may not reflect current Experian policy. The Ask Experian team cannot respond to each question individually. However, if your question is of interest to a wide audience of consumers, the Experian team will include it in a future post.