How To Check Your Credit Score Without Lowering It?

September 17th, 2012 | Author:

[W]hen you apply for a new credit card, rental housing, utility service, and car insurance, a company representative will usually check your credit score. Every time someone checks your credit score, an “inquiry” is posted on your credit report. If too many companies are checking your credit report, then this can decrease your credit rating. Fair or not, most lenders believe that someone with a lot of inquiries is in financial trouble. Inquiries usually last for two years, though the credit rating damage usually fades after about six months.

The fear of racking up too many inquiries has led some people to fear checking their own credit scores. However, you can check your own credit score as much as you like without harming your credit rating. Generally, you have to pay a modest fee to see your credit rating. In many cases, you can get a free credit report but this will not show your credit score. Your credit score is a number between 300 and 850 and it assesses whether you are responsible enough to borrow money. If your score is below 650, you will have a hard time getting new credit cards or getting utility services without an upfront cash deposit.

The best way to view your credit score is directly from one of the major credit reporting agencies. While many companies not affiliated with the credit bureaus sell credit scores and reports, there are too many potential problems with some of the companies for us to recommend them. Some companies have been accused of selling outdated or incorrect information. Go directly to Equifax, Experian, or TransUnion to get your credit scores. If you can only afford one credit score, get it from Equifax or Experian. While TransUnion is used by some companies, Equifax and Experian are far more popular.

The easiest way to complete your mission of getting your credit score is online with a credit or debit card. You will need to verify your identity by answering some multiple choice questions, such as the names of your lenders or a past address. If you cannot complete payment or identity verification online, you will need to call or write the credit reporting agency to complete the transaction. In some cases, you will need to send a copy of your driver’s license to prove your identity and view your credit score.

Posted in Credit Score

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