Checking your credit score is a common thing most people do to see their creditworthiness. People that check their credit score may want to track their score over time and try to improve it. However, it is important to make sure when you view your credit score you are not doing something called a “hard credit check” because it can actually lower your score over time. Here are some tips to avoid hard credit checks and keep your credit score in top shape.
Hard credit checks can occur for various reasons. Most commonly, hard credit checks occur when people request to view their credit score from a bank. Other ways a hard credit check happens is when you apply for a new credit card, request an increase to the credit limit on your existing card, or apply for a mortgage.
A hard credit check is initiated when a lender pulls your credit score from various credit bureaus. For example, when you apply for a mortgage the banks will pull a credit report, which details your credit history in order to assess the risk associated with lending you money. These checks are usually hard checks and can actually lower your credit score.
A Soft credit check can be used to check your credit score and will not have the same impact as a hard check. If you want to view your credit score but do not want to have a hard credit check done there are many applications out there that will help you view your credit score. CreditKarma and Borrowell can be used to check your score and they will not have a hard credit check done and will not lower your credit score.
The first thing you should do to prevent hard credit checks from appearing on your report is to prevent them from happening in the first place. I recommend against applying for new credit cards and credit limit increases. Instead, you should wait until you are pre approved for a credit card limit increase on your current card as most times this will not result in a hard credit check.
You may have some hard credit checks on your record already, but did you know It is possible to remove inquiries from your credit card report? If you do have hard checks you can dispute the inquiry with a credit bureau or with your creditor. If you did not authorize the hard credit check, you may be able to have them remove the hard check from your record.
A high credit score is important, especially if you are looking to have lenders extend credit to you. That's why it is important to avoid hard credit checks at all costs. If you follow those three basic steps your credit score should remain in good shape. If you do find that your score is low, it could be due to hard credit checks. I would recommend disputing the claim with a credit bureau or with your bank. Let them know that you did not authorize the transaction and in the future use applications that use soft checks to view your credit score. A high credit score is important, especially if you are looking to have lenders extend credit to you.