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Does Checking Your Own Credit Report Impact Your FICO Score?

Not all credit report inquiries count toward your FICO score.

When you check your credit report, you may notice that a number of credit inquiries have been made, sometimes from businesses that you don’t know. But the only inquiries that count toward your FICO score are the ones that result from your applications for new credit.

Inquiries that count toward your FICO score.

There is only one type of credit inquiry that counts toward your FICO score—and typically lowers your score. When you apply for a mortgage, auto loan or other credit, you authorize the lender to request a copy of your credit report. These types of inquiries, prompted by your own actions, appear on your credit report and are included in your FICO score.

Inquiries that don’t count toward your FICO score.

Your own credit report requests, credit checks made by businesses to offer you goods or services, or inquiries made by businesses with which you already have a credit account do not count toward your FICO score. Credit checks by prospective employers also do not count. These types of inquiries may appear on your credit report, but they are not included in your FICO score.

Your FICO score is not affected when you check your credit.
Checking your credit reports regularly to be sure they are accurate and error-free is a good idea. In fact, maintaining accurate credit reports is a part of good credit management, which can help to improve your FICO scores over time.

What to know about "rate shopping."

Looking for a mortgage or an auto loan may cause multiple lenders to request your credit report, even though you’re only looking for one loan. To compensate for this, the score ignores all mortgage and auto inquiries made in the 30 days prior to scoring. So if you find a loan within 30 days, the inquiries won't affect your score while you're rate shopping. In addition, the score looks on your credit report for auto or mortgage inquiries older than 30 days. If it finds some, it counts all those inquiries that fall in a typical shopping period as just one inquiry when determining your score. For FICO scores calculated from older versions of the scoring formula, this shopping period is any 14-day span. For FICO scores calculated from the newest versions of the scoring formula (FICO ’08), this shopping period is any 45-day span. Each lender chooses which version of the FICO scoring formula it wants the credit-reporting agency to use to calculate your FICO score.

By the way, the score you get directly from Equifax, Transunion, and Experian via their websites is NOT the same as your FICO SCORE.  Each bureau uses their own number because each usually has different pieces of information, which may not be included in another bureaus report. And each bureau uses its own scoring formula.  FICO uses it’s own score based on its own formula calculation.  Lenders and creditors typically consider an average of each score as the truest score although some will take the lowest score to further minimize their risk or increase their interest or fee based rates.

The only government approved website for your free annual credit report is
http://annualcreditreport.com

 

 

 
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