Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Credit Inquiries: How do they effect your credit?

How does this application affect my score?
Inquiries are not a big part of our credit scores. They only comprise 10% of the overall credit calculation of our FICO score. But they do play an important role in how financial institutions grant credit. There are different kinds of inquiries; some affect our credit score and some inquiries don’t.

  • Promotional Inquiries A promotional inquiry is an inquiry made by a lender on an entire neighborhood or larger region. ABC Credit Union may want to advertise their new low rate credit card so they will contact a credit bureau and ask for all the people in a certain Zip Code with a credit score of 600 or better. Then, the bureau does a mass inquiry to create a mailing list. These sorts of inquiries do not affect your credit. They appear on your report for two years, but do not affect your score at all. 

  • Employment Inquiries Checking your credit history for employment purposes will not affect your credit scores. According to Experian Credit Bureau, when your credit report is requested for employment purposes it generates an inquiry. However, that inquiry is shown only to you on your personal credit report. It is not shared with lenders or other businesses and is not included in credit score calculations.

  • Credit Inquiries for Borrowing (HARD Inquiries) These inquiries will effect your credit score as they are known as a “Hard Hit” inquiry; meaning they were initiated by you when you signed an application applying for a rental property, a credit card or some other type of financial lending product. Whenever we apply for credit; whether it is a personal loan, car loan, home loan, line of credit, credit card, or a business loan, you will have a “hard hit” credit inquiry on your report. The inquiry will appear on your credit report for two years but will affect your credit score for only one year.

Have you ever been to a store where they offer you a 10-15% discount on your purchase for completing a credit application? I bet you have. Recently, I was in Kohl’s Department Store and Target and was asked by clerks in both stores if I was interested in completing their credit app for a discount on my purchase. All around me there were people filling out their applications for the store card to get their discount. I have heard people say they do it all the time to get the discount. As mistakes are known in the internet world, that is a FAIL.

Multiple inquires create multiple hits on your credit report and score. It is not a good idea to complete a credit application for a purchase discount. It takes points from your score and may cause you to have your credit application for something you really need, like a home or a car, be declined as your credit score was low due to multiple inquiries.

Remember, a hard hit inquiry can take 10 or more points off your credit score. It all depends on the strength of your credit report and score.

Interested in learning more about credit? Attend our Credit Myths and Facts Workshop next Wednesday at our Monta Loma Financial Center in Mountain View.


Wednesday, April 25 at 6:00 p.m.
Credit Myths, Facts and Credit Repair

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