Does checking my credit history affect my credit score?

The thing about credit scores is that they are subjective and can be affected by anything related to your credit. Every time you take out a loan, make a payment or completely pay off a debt that is logged. Every time you miss a payment or default on a debt, that is logged too. When you apply for credit and the creditor checks your credit record, that check is also logged.

So clearly a credit check will affect your credit score and each credit agency will have their own algorithm to work out how that affects your score. Of course that score is only a guide anyway and how the banks interpret that credit check is up to them.

In practical terms

A single credit check every now and then should have little any impact on your ability to get credit. Banks and lenders realise that you will from time to time want credit and credit checks are necessary, so you wouldn’t expect a credit check to have a negative impact.

Multiple credit checks close together

The creditor doing a credit check on you can see previous credit checks that have been made but they cannot see what the check was for or the result of the application – all they know is that someone wanted to see if you were credit worthy, which means that you probably applied for credit.

If you apply for a loan and get refused, and you then apply for another loan and are again refused, you can see how that could make you look like you are desperate for credit, and that will of course make getting credit harder.

In the normal run of things

If you apply for credit no more than once every 6 months you shouldn’t have any problems and if you do happen to apply for 2 different types of credit close together you will normally get away with it as long as your credit is reasonable.

If you ever apply for credit and get refused, ask for the reasons and consider your position very carefully before applying elsewhere. If you get refused a second time you should seriously consider not applying again for at least a few months.

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