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I've just seen over the years that you can check your credit score now and then and sometimes it might lower it a small amount just to check.

Why isn't credit some transparent function of various aspects of your own financial history that you yourself would know and can calculate? Why is it not something you can just see at all times?

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  • Because the companies who calculate credit scores want it that way. Jan 22, 2023 at 14:54

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Why is it not something you can just see at all times?

Why isn't it? Many banks and credit cards provide access to your credit score (and sometimes credit report) from one or more agencies as a perk. Some will provide you with periodic (weekly or monthly) snapshots, others allow you to query on-demand.

Same with the agencies themselves, all three have a free subscription option where you can sign up to monitor your records with that specific agency and check their value for your credit score.

The reason you cannot calculate it yourself is because there's no one formula. Each agency uses their own proprietary formula, and in fact some have multiple formulas that they use. These are secret and are not publicly available in order to prevent abuse and manipulation.

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    To add, it will never reduce your credit score to check it. Only hard pulls will.
    – Stan H
    Jan 20, 2023 at 0:22
  • Thank you very much. However, I still don't feel totally settled in my understanding of this. So, partially, credit agencies design their own proprietary formulae, so the formulae are hidden just by virtue of companies wanting to maintain their competitiveness, as with any product. But then, what is backing the reliability of these companies' scores, if it is unknown what goes on behind the scenes? Secondly, at least in an ideal world, I would hope a credit score is an accurate enough reflection of your financial "track record" that "cheating" isn't conceptually possible; the facts tell all.
    – Julius H.
    Jan 22, 2023 at 9:46
  • I can ask these as a couple follow up questions, if necessary. But based on what you so far explained, I feel like there should be an open formula for calculating your own credit score. If this is not common, is it because credit agencies have access to data that individuals do not, even about the individual themself? Thank you.
    – Julius H.
    Jan 22, 2023 at 9:48
  • Yeah, you should definitely ask this as a follow up.
    – littleadv
    Jan 22, 2023 at 18:41

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