Thursday, May 29, 2014

Credit Inquiries

    Make sure you know who is looking at your credit report and why.  Many inquiries look bad on your credit report, but more than that you likely want to know who can see your personal financial information, now that you know that your personal information is stored in a credit report. If you sign a document with a lender or apply for credit online, you can be sure that someone is looking at your credit report.  However, you may want to look over other documents in order to see who is taking a peek. Insurance agents will often look at your credit report, for example. Some landlords and potential employers will, too. You need to be careful about online sources, too. In general, when you provide someone with your social insurance number, you may be giving permission to look at your credit report. You shouldn’t bar people from looking, but knowing who is looking is good financial practice.  

    Know the difference between soft and hard inquiries.  When you pull your credit report to look at it, it is counted as a “soft inquiry.” Only “hard inquiries” from lenders will affect your credit score dramatically. Although checking your credit score too often is an expensive habit, you should not avoid checking your credit report because you fear it will make your credit rating worse.