Credit cards are known to be convenient finance options, but there is plenty more to having a credit card than knowing your limit. There are retailers and financial institutions that access your credit report via inquiries that have the potential of hurting your credit score. There are two types of inquiries institutions perform. Knowing what they are and when they occur can help you protect your credit score.
Difference Between Hard and Soft Inquiries
Hard inquiries are the most damaging of the two and most commonly happen when a prospective lender checks your report before making a lending decision. Such inquiries can cause a slight drop in your credit score and stay on your report for up to two years. Typical applications that call for a hard inquiry include:
- Auto loans
- Car rentals
- Apartment rentals
- Credit cards
Soft inquiries, on the other hand, do not affect your credit report and can repeatedly occur without harm. They can also occur without your permission and do not appear on your credit report. The most common soft inquiries happen when:
- You check your credit score on sites like MyFico, Credit Karma, and Credit Sesame
- Prospective employers perform a background check
- Lenders pre-approve you for a loan
There are some instances when the lines between hard and soft inquiries blur. Some rental companies perform hard inquiries while others do soft inquiries instead. Opening a checking, savings, cable, or internet account are also occasions when either may happen. The only surefire way to determine which inquiry will occur is to ask a representative at the institution before proceeding with their services. Doing so can prevent you from having additional hard inquiries on your report which can deter future lenders.
How Inquiries Affect Your Credit Score
Only hard inquiries can hurt your credit score, but there are also other factors that come into play. Your personal credit history will determine how much an inquiry lowers your score. For example, if you have a short credit history with numerous inquiries, one more hard inquiry can be damaging. However, inquiries do not impact your credit score nearly as much as a high credit utilization rate and multiple missed payments. Failing to make on-time payments can cause your credit score to plummet and ultimately lead to harassing calls from debt collectors.
Being subjected to badgering calls from creditors and debt collection agencies is not only inconvenient but illegal in particular circumstances. FDCPA laws protect consumers from having to endure such invasive phone calls. The attorneys at The Law Offices of Jibrael S. Hindi can put an end to this invasion of your privacy. Our experienced Florida FDCPA attorneys have extensive legal knowledge and will protect your interests every step of the way. Contact us today at 1-844-JIBRAEL for a free case evaluation. You don’t pay a dime until you get paid!