Does checking my credit score affect it?

By   |   Updated 8th September 2021

how checking your credit score affects your credit score
  • Thinking about starting to monitor your credit score or are already tracking it?
  • Concerned your score might go down because of regular checks?
  • Get the definitive answer in this guide.

You probably know just how important your credit score is and why tracking it is a good idea, but you aren't the only one worried that checking your credit score might cause it to change.

In a survey of Finty users, when asked if there was anything that nearly stopped them signing up, approximately 2% said they worried it would be added to their credit report and cause their credit score to drop. [1]

However, unlike many questions of a financial nature, there is a straightforward answer to whether checking your credit score has an impact.

Checking your credit score has no impact on it, either positively or negatively.

What the credit reporting bureaus say

In Australia, there are three credit reporting bureaus and the following is what they have to say on the issue, quoting directly from their respective websites.

Experian

"Checking your own credit score is considered a soft inquiry and won't affect your credit."

Equifax

"Credit scores aren't impacted by checking your own credit reports or credit scores. In fact, regularly checking your credit reports and credit scores is an important way to ensure your personal and account information is correct, and may help detect signs of potential identity theft."

Illion

"Accessing your credit score and credit report through illion Credit Check will not affect your credit score."

Finty partnered with Experian — one of the world's leading credit reporting bureaus — to provide Australians with access to their credit score for free. Sign up to get yours here.

Hard vs. soft enquiries

There are two types of credit enquiries — a hard enquiry or a soft enquiry — and how they impact your score differs significantly.

Hard enquiries

When a lender runs a credit check as part of their decisioning process, it is classed as a hard enquiry. Hard enquiries are visible on your credit report, meaning other lenders can see them too.

A hard enquiry can temporarily lower your credit score, particularly if there are several hard enquiries within a short period of time (a sign that you may be experiencing difficulty making ends meet).

Applying for a credit card or home loan, for example, will result in a hard enquiry. Opening an account with a buy now pay later service may result in a hard enquiry also. Zip Pay are known to perform a credit check when you apply to open an account with them.

Soft enquiries

A soft enquiry is not linked to a credit application and has no impact on your credit score.

Checking your credit score — whether initiated by you personally or someone to whom you gave permission — is classified as a soft enquiry. Lenders often run a soft enquiry as part of the pre-approval process for a loan or insurance policy. Employers may run a soft enquiry for new job applicants as may landlords, who may use it to evaluate new tenants.

Final word

So there it is: you can check your credit score as often as you like and it will not affect it.

Article sources

1 Finty. "Survey carried out on all new Finty members as part of the onboarding process".