Credit Score What I Wish Had Known Earlier

Several years back, I had received so much “advice” from my friends about how to keep a good credit score. While their intentions are good, now when I look back at all these pieces of advice, many of them are simply not true. In this post I’d like to talk about what I wish had known earlier about credit scores.

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#1. Checking your credit report does not affect your credit score. For years, I feared checking my credit score, thinking every inquiry would lower my score. That’s so not true. The truth is, there are two types of inquiries, soft inquiry and hard inquiry, and only hard inquiries negatively affects your credit score. If you check your credit score, that’s a soft inquiry. When do we have hard inquiries then? In most cases it is when you are getting a line of credit, for example, applying for a credit card or loan. Getting a checking or saving’s account does not involve opening a line of credit, so most banks just soft pull (make a soft inquiry) your credit report, but there are some banks that will do a hard inquiry, so be careful when you open a bank account.

#2. Getting a quote for car insurance does not affect your credit score. Again, this is a soft inquiry. So please feel free to shop around for car insurance rates. However, if you have a low credit score, it will likely increase your insurance premium because insurance companies view that as a risk. Getting a quote for personal loan, e.g. from lendingclub or prosper, also counts as a soft inquiry.

#3.Credit inquiries remain on your report for two years. Hard inquires affect your credit score and they are viewable to potential lenders, so if you are planning to apply for a big loan, e.g. for a house, then you need to think about not having too many inquiries two years before your loan application. If the lenders sees a lot inquiries on your report, even if you have decent credit score, you may still be viewed as a risky borrower and difficult to get the loan. However, if you have negative info on your credit report, e.g. late payments, forclusures, they will stay on your credit report for seven years.


John Clarke is a professional and experienced content creator based in Sydney, Australia. He works as the editorial manager in TIME Magazine and as a contributor at

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