Get in the Habit of Checking Your Credit Report

Published on Feb 18, 2014 11:19 am

If your goal is to build and maintain a good credit score, checking your credit report on a regular basis is a good first step. While reviewing your credit report might seem a bit overwhelming at first, it doesn’t have to be.  Keeping an eye out for three things can help to have a positive impact on your credit score: suspicious information, score factors and signs of identity theft.

Does Having Your Credit Checked Affect Your Score?
It’s a common misconception that having your credit checked will harm your score and this isn’t always the case. There are two types of credit inquiries: hard inquires and soft inquires.

Hard Inquiries
These types of inquiries, such as when a potential lender checks your credit report to approve a loan, application, rental agreement or other contract, can show up on your credit report and damage your score to some degree. Companies will need your permission to review your credit report.

Soft Inquiries
These inquires occur when you’ve given permission to access your credit report for things like employee background checks or when you review your own report. Soft inquires won’t affect your credit score.

Checking Your Credit Report for Signs of Identity Theft
The following issues may be indications that you’re a victim of identity theft:

  • Accounts that don’t belong to you
  • Inquiries that you haven’t authorized
  • Addresses that you can’t recognize or haven’t lived at

Checking for Unfamiliar Information
Sometimes information on your credit report is reported incorrectly by the company to the credit bureau. Some examples of incorrect reporting include:

  • Accounts that are open being reported as closed
  • Late payment reports that never occurred
  • Incorrect numbers that deal with credit balances or credit limits

Reviewing Your Credit Score Factors
Your next step is to take a look at your credit score factors.  These detail those issues that hurt or help your credit score.

Positive credit score factors include: punctual payment history, age of accounts and low balances.

Negative score factors include:  being been more than 30 days late, having several inquiries, and having one or more legal judgments in your credit report.


Your credit is important. Keeping on top of your credit report today can help preserve your financial well-being tomorrow.


This article is provided for general guidance and information. It is not intended as, nor should it be construed to be, legal, financial or other professional advice. Please consult with your attorney or financial advisor to discuss any legal or financial issues involved with credit decisions.

Published by permission from, Inc., an Experian company.   © 2014, Inc.  All rights reserved.


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