How Often Should You Check Your Credit Score?

If you’re like any other American, you probably care about your credit score and you want to keep your credit score as high as possible. One of the most commonly asked questions that we get asked a Credit Score Planet is: How often should you check your credit report? We will answer this question below in much detail below.

How Often Should You Check Your Credit Score?

You should check your credit score as often as you feel comfortable checking it. A good rule of thumb is to check your credit score at least once a month. If you’re applying for a credit card, auto loan, or home loan, you may want to check your credit report more often to ensure nothing negative will keep you from qualifying for the credit card or loan you want to apply for.

Checking your credit score does not hurt your credit score, so you can check it on a daily basis without impacting your credit score. This is so because checking your own credit results in a soft inquiry and not a hard inquiry. Hard inquiries hurt your credit score while soft inquiries do not. Now, we aren’t telling you to check your credit score on a daily basis, but checking once a month is a good idea to ensure nothing negative is impacting your credit. That said, regardless of how often you check your credit report and your credit score, checking will never hurt your credit score.

Checking once a month is a good idea. When you check your credit report and credit score, you should not look at small changes in your credit score will always fluctuate. You should only look at big swings in your credit score because those are the meaningful ones. You may check your credit score on Jan 1st and Jan 2nd and your credit score may have fluctuated by 3 or 5 points. This type of fluctuation is insignificant and should not keep you up at night.

That said, you should check your credit score on a daily or weekly basis if you’re planning a large purchase, such as a home or car, to ensure that nothing negative is showing that could keep you from obtaining a loan to complete your purchase. Other than that, checking once a month is a good rule of thumb.

Understanding Your Credit Score

Credit scores range from a low of 300 to a high of 850, the higher your credit score, the better off you are. In the U.S every person is entitled to check his credit score free once every year. There are three main credit reporting agencies that give you three different credit scores. You can check your credit score by using a website that checks your credit score. For example, Credit Karma will allow you to check your Transunion and Equifax Credit Score. You can check your Experian credit score by heading over to Experian’s website and following the instructions provided to you.

Each credit reporting bureau uses the information contained with your credit report to calculate your credit score by applying a mathematical algorithm to the data with your credit report. Each one of the three major credit bureaus will give you a slightly different credit score. Credit scores are very important because lenders and creditors use the information within your credit report to determine whether to lend you money. So, it’s a great idea to periodically check your credit score to ensure nothing negative is impacting your credit score, which will impact your ability to obtain lines of credit and loans.

What is a Good Credit Score?

740 – 850 = Excellent

670 – 739 = Good

580 – 669 = Fair

300 – 579 = Very Poor

How Does Checking Your Credit Score Help You Improve It?

Checking your credit score periodically can help you improve it because pulling your credit report to view your credit score shows you what items are impacting your credit score. Knowing what’s dragging your credit score down give you some insight as to what needs to be done to improve your credit score.

For example, if you pull your credit report to view your credit score, you may find that there is a collections account that does not belong to you on your credit report. If you find such an account, you can either dispute you through the credit reporting bureau or you can call the collections agency and have them remove the account from your credit report. Doing this can improve your credit score significantly.

Also, if you find that you’re utilizing too much of your available credit, you can improve your credit score by paying down some of the balances so that you’re using less of your available credit. You cannot improve your credit score without first pulling your credit report to see what’s impacting your credit score.

You should not worry about small fluctuations in your credit score as your credit score may fluctuate on a daily basis. These small changes are insignificant. You should pay attention to large swings in your credit score as they may indicate an underlying problem. It’s a good idea to check your credit score on a monthly basis to ensure that you’re not a victim of identity theft and that there are no major issues impacting your credit score.

How Do You Check Your Credit Score?

You can check your credit score in a variety of different methods. For example, you can obtain a copy of your credit report, which contains your credit score for free once per year through Annual Credit Report. Also, you can subscribe to obtain monthly and even daily credit reports by using Credit Karma, Experian, Transunion, or Equifax. There are other provides who allow you to check you credit report and your credit score, you can find them by simply google “check my credit report” or “check my credit score” and you’ll find planet of options. Also, more and more banks are now allowing their customers to check their credit score from their online banking portals without having to pay any more. So, check with your bank and see if they provide this service for free before purchasing it from somewhere else.

How Often Can You Check Your Credit Score?

Here is some good news: You can check your credit score and your credit report as often as you feel comfortable checking it without hurting your credit score. This is so because when a person checks his or her credit report, he makes what is known as a soft pull or soft inquiry. Soft inquiries do not impact a person’s credit score. Most services that allow you to check your credit score charge a monthly fee and allow you to pull your credit report and score once a day.

You rarely, if ever, need to check your credit score on a daily basis unless you’re making a large purchase, such as buying a home or a car, nevertheless, you can check your credit score as often as you want. It’s worth noting that your credit score might be different depending on which credit bureau you check you score with even if the information within your credit file is the same.

Different scores result because the algorithms that the bureaus are different, so you might find that you have three slightly different credit scores even though the information within your credit report is the same. That said, as a rule of thumb, it’s a good idea to check your credit score at least once a month, to see whether something negative is dragging your score down.

Credit Score Planet Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some of the most commonly asked questions that we get at Credit Score Planet:

1) How often can you check your credit score for free?

If you use a service, such as Credit Karma, you can check your credit score for free as often as you want. That said, if you simply want to obtain a copy of your credit report that does not contain your credit score, you can check your report for free at Annual Credit Report here.

2) Is it bad to check your credit score?

No, it is not bad to check your credit score and your credit report. You should not check on a daily basis unless you’re making a large purchase, such as buying a home or financing a car. Checking once a month is great to ensure that nothing is hurting your credit score.

3) Is it bad to check your credit on Credit Karma?

No, checking your credit on Credit Karma is not bad. Credit Karma has an excellent website and provides you with a free copy of your credit report, as well as your credit scores from Transunion and Equifax.

4) Can I check my credit score without lowering it?

Yes, checking your credit score will never lower it. So, if you want to check it, feel free to do so as it will not hurt or lower your credit score.

5) What shows up on your credit report?

  • Open credit accounts
  • Open Loans
  • Inquiries from potential lenders
  • Collections accounts
  • Age of open accounts
  • Account Balances
  • Total Debt
  • Credit Utilization

How Often Should You Check Your Credit Score?

At this point, you probably know that you can check your credit score as often as you want without hurting or lowering your credit score. That said, unless you’re a victim of identity theft or you’re making a large purchase, such as a home or car, you should check your credit score once a month just to make sure that nothing is negatively impacting your credit score.