Jul 18 2009

8 Things That Do Not Affect Your Credit Score

A couple days ago, a friend asked whether checking his credit report would hurt his credit score. After telling him that it didn’t, I realized that there is a lot of information on what can hurt your credit score. What about the things that do nothing to your credit score?


The Types of Credit Inquiries

A soft pull or inquiry is a request to see your credit report by a party that didn’t receive your consent to do so. Account reviews made only by you also fall under this category.

A hard pull or inquiry is a request to see your credit report when you authorize a party to do so. Applying for a credit card or loan would result in a hard pull by the bank or institution.

Things With No Effect On Credit Score

  1. Ordering your credit report or credit score.
    Whether your order your free credit report or myFICO score, doing so is considered a personal account review, which is a soft inquiry.
  2. Asking for a lower interest rate on your credit card.
    Just talking to a customer representative isn’t going to result in a negative consequence. In fact, your credit score may end up increasing if you get the lower APR. But, you still might want to be careful about making this move.
  3. Having an overdraft on your checking account.
    Unless your bank reports you to a collection agency for the overdrawn amount, the only penalty would be the overdraft fee.
  4. Receiving credit counseling.
    Seeking help with your debt doesn’t affect your credit. But, the debt management vehicles you use as a result of credit counseling could hurt your credit score.
  5. Making multiple payments in a single billing cycle.
    All that matters to the credit card company is that you pay the minimum due for the month. Multiple payments in a billing cycle means nothing to your credit score.
  6. Getting married.
    Both spouses keep their own credit history and therefore, have their own individual credit report and credit score. Opening joint accounts, on the other hand, would create a new credit profile with both names on it. And joint accounts would have an effect on individual credit histories.
  7. Getting divorced.
    Just like when getting married, each individual has their own credit histories, except for joint accounts. The act of divorcing does nothing to your credit score. You still have to pay the debts on joint accounts. The best route is to inform all creditors of the divorce and divide the debt. This way, if one person doesn’t pay their share, the other won’t suffer from it.
  8. Receiving “pre-approved” credit card offers from banks.
    When banks get the information that determines you as pre-approved, they do a soft pull on your credit report and that is not seen by creditors.

While many things will hurt your credit score, many things won’t. So now, stop fretting about whether this and that will affect your credit score.

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9 Comments on this post


  1. Carnival of Personal Finance #214: United States Presidents Edition wrote:

    [...] could not tell a lie, and Simon has a list of 8 Things That Do Not Affect Your Credit Score. (Sure, those don’t line up perfectly… but I didn’t want to get your hopes up that any of [...]

    July 20th, 2009 at 7:44 am
  2. Carnivals and Links: 7/20/09 | Realm of Prosperity wrote:

    [...] the Carnival of Personal Finance #214: United States Presidents Edition, in which my post on 8 Things That Do Not Affect Your Credit Score received a [...]

    July 20th, 2009 at 8:19 am
  3. Friday Finance Followers – Happy Birthday Edition | Suburban Dollar wrote:

    [...] had an article this week called  8 Things That Do Not Affect Your Credit Score. While some these things may not affect your credit score, they could affect you in other [...]

    July 24th, 2009 at 7:36 am
  4. Weekly Round Up: Going Out of Town wrote:

    [...] 8 Things That Do Not Affect Your Credit Score [...]

    July 25th, 2009 at 7:03 am
  5. How Overdrafts Can Affect Your Credit Score | Realm of Prosperity wrote:

    [...] deposit enough money to correct the balance, which includes paying the overdraft fee, the overdraft will have no effect on your credit score since it is never reported to the credit [...]

    November 23rd, 2009 at 9:05 am
  1. Leon Tuassi said:

    this was a very interesting read about credit…especially the part about opening joint accounts as married couples…most people don’t know how much this can hurt them.

    July 18th, 2009 at 11:58 pm
  2. Megan Levy said:

    I was under the impression that going overdrawn would definitely put a black mark on my credit score. How about an unauthorized overdraft? How will that affect my credit status?

    July 23rd, 2009 at 10:47 pm
  3. RateNerd said:

    Good list, but I want to point out that asking for an interest rate reduction does not lower you score, but asking for a charge off will. Getting charge offs removed from your report is hard.

    July 31st, 2009 at 8:59 am
  4. david said:

    Good stuff, alot of this I did not know before today, thanks

    August 5th, 2009 at 9:30 pm


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