Nov
11
2009

Ordering your own report doesn’t hurt credit scores

Dear Experian,

If I order a credit report and score for myself, does it count against my credit history?

- SKA

 

Dear SKA,

Getting your own credit report or purchasing a credit score report will not “count against” your creditworthiness in any way if you request it directly from the credit reporting companies or through a company that provides those services directly to consumers. You can get your own credit report as many times as you like, and you don’t have to worry about it affecting your ability to qualify for credit.

When your credit report is accessed, a record of that access is added to your credit report. The record of that access is called an “inquiry.” This myth stems from misunderstanding how inquiries are shown on your credit report. What people don’t realize is that there are two types of inquiries.

The first type of inquiry is often referred to as a “hard inquiry,” which simply means the inquiry is included in your credit history, which is shared with other lenders when you apply for new credit.

Hard inquiries are the result of your application for credit or other services. They are shared with other businesses when you apply for credit because they can represent additional debt that doesn’t yet appear as an account in your credit report. That potential new debt is an indicator of risk, so a recent inquiry can have a small impact on credit scores.

The second type of inquiry is frequently referred to as a “soft” inquiry because it doesn’t affect lending decisions or credit scores.

Soft inquiries appear only on your personal credit report and are not shared with anyone else. They include getting copies of your own credit report, purchasing a credit score and credit report for yourself, preapproved credit offers, inquiries for insurance and employment purposes, and inquiries made by your existing lenders for account review purposes.

Thanks for asking.

- The “Ask Experian” team

  • ©2014 Experian Information Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved.