How Often Can You Check Your Credit Score, and How Do You Get It?

Do you keep a close eye on your personal finances?

Your credit score can control a lot—what loans you qualify for, the credit cards that are  available to you, etc. To keep on top of it all, it’s important to  check your credit score. But how often can you check your credit score,  exactly? Find out how often you can check your credit score.

The Difference Between Your Credit Score and Credit Report

Your credit report is a detailed document about your credit history. It  shows active and past accounts, whether you paid on time and how much  credit you’ve used compared to open balances.

Your credit score is a three-digit number, typically between 300 and 850, that’s calculated based on all the information in your credit report.

How Often Can You Check Your Credit Score for Free?

Usually, the reports are available once every year. This means you could  get a look at your credit information every four months by spreading  out your requests for each of the bureaus.

Reasons to Check Your Credit Report and Score

1. Keeping a regular eye on your credit report helps you identify inaccurate negative items that might be dragging down your score. 2. Checking your credit report regularly helps you see whether suspicious activity is  occurring, which can indicate that you’re a victim of identity theft or  fraud. 3. Knowing your credit score and how it moves up and down over time can  also help you understand whether there might be issues with your report.

How Can You Get Your Credit Score?

You might have access to your credit score via your credit card provider. If this is a benefit you get as a cardholder, you can typically see the score by logging into your credit card account online or via a mobile app. The downside is that this is only one possible version of your score.

How Many Points Does Your Credit Score Go Down for an Inquiry?

Requesting your own score or credit report doesn’t impact your score at all. That’s because this is considered a soft inquiry. Only hard inquiries impact your credit score. Hard inquiries occur when a lender pulls your credit to evaluate you for a loan or other credit.

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