Do free credit reports affect your score?

Gone are the days when it is mandatory to fork over some cash before you get your credit report. You can actually get a free credit report and it is super-easy to do that.  

Free Credit Reports and Credit Scores

Getting a free credit report is quite different from getting a credit score. As a matter fact, some free credit reports do not include your credit score. For instance, the national law gives you access to a free credit report from each of the three major bureaus, namely: Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion but not the credit score.

The free credit report from each of these bureaus can be gotten from annualcreditreport.com. You can get the free credit report online, by calling or mailing Annual Credit Report.

However, if you obtain your free credit report this way, you will not have access to the credit score. You still need to pay a fee to get your credit score. Nonetheless, the free credit report will provide you with a comprehensive overview of your credit activities and history.

A lot of Americans who need their credit scores pay the fee but you don’t really need to pay a fee to get your credit score, you can get it for free. Some platforms like Quizzle, Credit Karma and Credit Sesame allows you to get a free credit report as well as your credit score.

Is Your Credit Score Affected?

When it comes to getting a free credit report, most Americans really want to know if it affects their credit scores. The truth is that it does not.

However, to really understand how it works, you need to know the different types of inquiries that apply to credit report and scores, namely, hard and soft inquiry.

A hard inquiry occurs when you apply for credit. For instance, applying for credit for the purpose of an auto loan, a credit card, mortgage or any other type of credit can be termed a hard inquiry. This involves your lender pulling your credit report and credit card details. It reduces your credit score by some values but the effect could fade in two years.

A soft inquiry occurs when you access the credit report on your own. As you can see, this is the case that applies when you get a free credit report. Usually, you require a free credit report because you want to know your credit history. In most cases, you do this because you want to improve your credit value.

Checking your credit report can affect your credit behavior remarkably. Of course, you will be reluctant to check the credit report if you have to pay a fee. However, with the availability of several platforms offering the opportunity to get a free credit report, you can check your credit report and score as often as possible.

Several platforms allow you to get a free credit report at least once or twice in a year. You can check up to twice in a year with credit.com. With the availability of various platforms, you can use a number of platforms to get a free credit report as many times as possible within a year.

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