Monitor Hard Credit Inquiries to Avoid a Hard Time

November 22, 2011

bad credit scoresSometimes surprises are pleasant – a birthday party, 2-for-1 sales, finding $5 on the sidewalk. Others can be rather unpleasant, such as being denied a loan due to low credit scores. A recent post on the FreeScore blog, “Unauthorized Credit Inquiries: Don’t Be Caught Off Guard,” explains that much of this unpleasantness can be prevented with knowledge.

Do you know the difference between “hard” and “soft” credit inquiries? A hard inquiry is made when a person or company is making a lending decision. These inquiries usually lower your credit score by a few points and stay on your report for six months. A soft inquiry is usually made when no lending decision is required and does not affect your credit scores.

The article cites a Consumerist story as a warning for those unaware of their credit scores. According to the story, a Consumerist reader called his cable company to downgrade his service and reduce costs. He was in the middle of building a house and trying to cut back on expenses. A short time after his call, the cable company initiated a hard credit inquiry without his knowledge. If he hadn’t been signed up for a credit monitoring service, he probably would have never known about the inquiry. Because the reader was in the middle of applying for a mortgage, a dip in his credit scores could have resulted in a higher interest rate. Luckily, he contacted the company and got an employee to request that the inquiry be removed.

This story has a happy ending because the reader kept tabs on his credit scores. If you’d like to arm yourself with the same knowledge, sign up for the Power of 3 from FreeScore. This service provides access to your credit scores from the three major credit bureaus, guards you against fraud with 24/7 credit monitoring, and sends you automatic credit alerts of sudden changes, such as a new credit inquiry.

With help from FreeScore, you’ll be in control of your credit and be able to avoid unpleasant surprises.

Categories: Economy

About The Author

Read All Stories By Mitch Levinson

Mitch Levinson is the author of “Internet Marketing: The Key to Increased New Home Sales” published by BuilderBooks. He is an Internet marketing expert with expertise in search engine optimization, website development, email marketing, social media and CRM consulting services. He is known for creating effective programs that can be tracked through analytics to prove effectiveness and ROI. Mitch is founder and president of MLC New Home Marketing and MLC FlatFee Realty, as well as managing partner of mRELEVANCE, LLC, a Marketing, Communication, Interactive agency with offices in Chicago and Atlanta. He currently leads the Chicago team. A Multi-Million Dollar Sales Producer who earned an MBA in Computer Information Systems and eCommerce, he brings a unique perspective and experience to the field of real estate communications. Mitch combines the two interests in order to help home builders and developers gain a competitive advantage through the Internet and technology. When he isn’t behind a computer, he enjoys participating in sports and coaching his kids’ teams. Mitch resides in Arlington Heights, Ill., a northwest suburb of Chicago, with his family, which includes two rambunctious labs. Visit my Google+ profile.

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