Q:  Do I lose points on my credit score just by checking to see what it is?

A: The good news is no, you don’t lose points.  Checking your own credit score is considered a “soft” inquiry and will not affect your credit score in any way.  It also won’t show up on credit reports given to third parties.

A “soft” inquiry is different than a “hard” inquiry.  A “hard” inquiry happens when a third party, like a lender, credit card company or landlord, requests your credit report in order to grant you credit.  Hard inquiries usually only occur when you are requesting credit.

So, feel free to check your credit score and credit reports whenever you’d like, as many times as you want.  It’s actually a good idea to keep a close eye on both, in order to ensure the accuracy of your credit history and catch any potential occurrence of identity theft.  The credit report monitoring services reviewed on our site usually offer free trials, which is a nice way to check both your score(s) and your report(s).   And if you decide you don’t want to continue the service, just cancel during the trial period and it’s completely free.  Plus you get to keep your credit score and credit report free of charge.  Pretty good deal, right?