Financial experts recommend that everyone keeps track of their credit scores. But how many people actually do this? That is harder to say. Many people don’t know how to check their score – or are afraid that it’ll impact their credit if they try.
Banks and other financial institutions often check your credit score to consider whether or not to lend to you. This is why it’s essential to keep track of your score and check it often. Finding out what your score is can be easy, quick, and will not hurt your rating.
Can You Hurt Your Credit Score by Checking It?
Your credit score will not get damaged if checked by a potential lender or a bank. It can also be safe if the inquiry is only about assessing your current status and not applying for a new loan.
Difference Between Soft and Hard Inquiries
Since credit inquiries are sometimes called hard pulls, it’s essential to know what they are and how they affect your score. A hard pull is a step that a financial institution uses to check your credit report to see if you’re a good candidate for a loan. Soft inquiries happen when there is no application for a loan.
How Often Do Scores Change?
The nature of your score can change daily. It can be affected by various factors such as new account openings, credit inquiries, and balance changes. Even though slight changes in your score can’t influence it much, it’s essential to monitor it for potential issues such as identity theft.
Where Do Credit Inquiries Get Reported?
All credit inquiries get reported to the top credit bureaus. They are Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. All three keep track of individuals’ financial histories.
What Is Deemed a Good Credit Score?
Each credit bureau has its own set of scales for how good a credit score is. For instance, FICO rates a good score between 670 and 739, while anything between 580 and 669 is considered fair.
How To Check Your Score
Everyone is entitled to a free annual credit report from all three major credit bureaus. To get one, go to AnnualCreditReport.com or call 1-877-322-8228. Free credit scoring websites can help you better understand your credit score and what it means. Some of these provide only basic credit score checks, while others can offer more advanced features and services.
Many financial institutions, such as banks and credit card providers, offer their customers free credit score checks. Some provide tools that customers can use to predict how changes in their scores will affect them.
You can get a free credit report once every 60 days from the FTC. This is usually available for unemployed people looking for a job. You can also get one if you believe that your report is inaccurate.
Knowing your credit score can be a huge help with managing your financial situation. It can give you an idea of how you stand with various lenders. Having this information can help you improve it and ward off fraud.