Eli5 - Why does checking your credit score damage your credit score?
YOU checking it through the three reporting bureaus doesn't impact it, but outside organizations checking it does. Now, if you're searching for a home loan and they see that four companies have checked your credit, lenders will probably understand and the impact will be minimal or not appear until you've already obtained the loan. But a wide range of checks or several checks a year might indicate that you are a credit risk as you appear to be seeking lines of credit from a range of institutions and needing to get multiple companies to check to get a line of credit. This might indicate that you are overly stressed with debt or unable to get credit easily when you need it. It's one of many indicators of risk.
It doesn't necessarily damage it. There two kinds of checking; hard checks and soft checks.
Hard checks are the ones that lower your score, at least temporarily. The reason is because this check is being done with the intention of taking on more debt. It also helps prevent from taking on too much new debt too quickly, because your score may be too low for the next loan. Again, this is usually temporary, like a few months or years (really depends on why the hard check was done.)
A soft check won't do any harm. That's just checking your score for your own knowledge, like when you use Credit Karma.
It doesn't when you check it, yourself through the credit bureau directly or using something like Credit Karma.
However when a company runs your credit say for a car or credit card, then it can drop it a couple of points. Unless you are trying to buy a lot of things on credit at the same time it shouldn't ever he a problem.
Also, let's say you are trying to buy a car and the dealership has you apply for different financing (multiple banks) all at once, you won't get dinged for each one. The credit report companies understand you're looking for the best deal, so they combine them into one search.
Hope this helped
What hurts your credit score are "hard pulls," which are what companies do when they're deciding whether or not to loan you money (e.g. when you apply for a loan). The idea is that if a lot of people are evaluating you for a loan, it might mean you plan on taking on a lot of debt beyond what you currently owe.
Credit checks that aren't associated with a loan, like when an employer runs a background check on your or when you check your own credit, are called "soft pulls" and don't hurt your credit, since they aren't an indication you plan on taking on more debt.
There is a difference between checking your score and running it. You can check it everyday from a service at no consequence. However, if a bank runs your credit it means you applying for credit. Presumably this means you are taking on debt or need to. If you have five or six credit checks by banks in a short period this presents a picture to lenders that you are over extended financially and cannot find anyone to lend you money. This makes someone a risky customer and lowers their credits score.