How to check your credit score without lowering it

If you are conscious of your credit score and worried that it is not that great – perhaps you have a tarnished history that you think might be causing issues or maybe you just got turned down for a loan. Either way, you have probably heard that credit checks themselves can hurt your credit rating.

Let’s get a couple of things cleared up

Firstly, banks don’t necessarily look at your credit score in isolation. They look at your whole credit file and asses you by their own criteria, – and that might also include looking at your income too. So if you have been turned down for a loan, it might not even be because of your credit score.

Secondly, there is no single credit score anyway, each credit referencing agency (there are 3 main ones) gives you a score based on their own calculations. What really matters is the information on the file – the score is more of an indicator or snapshot.

But that said, credit checks will show up on your file and can sometimes hurt your borrowing abilities. This is only normally a problem if you have multiple checks close together, in the normal run of things a credit check every now and then shouldn’t hurt you at all.

How to check your score

Fortunately, you can find out what your score is with any of the agencies by signing up to their online services. Signing up to all three will be expensive though and normally just signing up for the Experian one will do just fine.

Experian’s ‘Credit Expert’ is free for life and will tell you everything you need to know, and using it will not in any way effect the information that creditors get when do a credit check. Or in other words, it won’t affect your credit score!

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