When thinking of all of the ways that your credit score can be improved or made worse, few people give much thought to the inquiries that they perform. While ordering your credit report from one of the major credit bureaus is what is known as a soft inquiry and has no negative effects, inquiries made on your behalf by other companies certainly can impact your score. In fact, when you are trying to repair your credit score, making a number of hard inquiries is a very bad idea indeed.
So, what constitutes a hard inquiry? These are requests for your credit report by lenders, credit card companies, mortgage companies, and other people with whom you have applied for credit. While it is certainly recommended that people compare credit card offers when possible, applying for multiple cards can actually serve to worsen your credit score rather than to boost it. Creditors want to know how often you are seeking credit, and too many inquiries simply looks bad on your report.
Hard credit checks can also be done without your permission. This can be done by companies looking to prequalify you for a loan or credit offer as well as by companies with whom you have an existing credit account. These companies periodically check your credit to ensure that you are still being offered terms that match your credit standing. Even employers can make a hard credit pull when determining if they wish to hire you or not. A hard pull lowers your credit score for about six months and will remain visible for quite some time. Because of this, it is advised that you have as few pulls as possible.
If you are looking to fix your credit score, you might be surprised to learn that you can contest hard pulls done without your permission. While these pulls are legal, they are not supposed to be able to affect your score. With credit repair software, you can easily find these hard pulls on your credit report and access the contact information of the company that requested them. This will enable you to file a dispute to have the information taken off of your FICO score. When you are looking to improve your credit score, you don’t have to spend money on credit repair programs. What you do need to do, however, is remain vigilant and work to remove any improper items that are lowering your score.