you are allowed one free credit report a year directly from the reporting agencies. there are several to choose from: Experian, Transunion, etc. Since they are separate reporting agencies, you could technically get (2) reports per year for free. It's a good idea to check it that often, with as much identity theft/fraud that exists. Yes, it's true that too many inquiries deflate your score, but it's usually only temporarily. Anytime you fill out a credit application, anytime you receive those "prescreened" offers of credit in the mail; those companies have looked at your credit history, and the score deflates.