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Do credit inquiries negatively impact your credit rating?

| December 9, 2021 1:00 AM

Whenever you apply for a loan or a credit card, the creditor will access your credit file to determine your creditworthiness. This inquiry can impact your credit rating depending on if it is a hard inquiry/hard pull or a soft inquiry/soft pull on your credit report.

If the creditor wants to determine the risk of offering you a loan or new line of credit, they will do a hard inquiry. This is a serious inquiry because lenders use the information to make decisions about whether or not to extend you credit and what terms they will offer. These types of inquiries are recorded on your credit report and according to the credit agencies could cause your credit score to drop between one and five points.

Examples of hard inquiries include mortgage applications, credit card applications, car loan applications or student loan applications. Multiple hard inquires within a certain period of time when purchasing a home or auto are generally counted as only one inquiry which can minimize the impact on your overall credit rating. Typically a hard inquiry will stay on your credit report for one year but it could be as long as two years.

On the other hand, a soft inquiry is when a company checks your credit report as part of a verification process such as employment to verify your identity. Examples of soft inquiries include background checks and credit card offers. These types of inquiries will not impact your credit score. When you request a credit limit increase, this may be either a hard inquiry or a soft inquiry depending on the lenders policies.

In short, a hard inquiry does have a small impact on your overall credit rating while a soft inquiry does not impact your credit rating. It is a good idea to monitor your credit

rating so you can determine if credit inquiries are being made on your account and why.

Many banks offer credit monitoring services for free along with companies like Credit Karma.

Once you set up your credit monitoring, it is a good idea to freeze your credit. That way scammers and thieves will not be able to establish new credit in your name even if they do get a hold of your personal information.

Mega Millions Scam Text

Several local readers have called to report that they have received a text supposedly from the Arizona couple that won the $414 million Mega Millions jackpot.

The text says, “Your telephone number was selected through random computer ballot system submitted to us by the US Telco database to benefit from our giveback project during this pandemic. A donation of $1 million is made out to enable you strengthen your personal issues and generously extend hands of help to the less privileged, orphans and charity organizations within your locality.”

The message then lets you know to contact their lawyer Mr. Bentata with your name and other information. The message is written in poor English, but to try to add credence to this claim, the message included a link that did report that a couple from Glendale, Arizona did win $410 million (not $414 million) in June 2021 in the Mega Millions Lottery.

Unfortunately, as are nearly all of these types of messages, according to the Arizona Lottery, this text message is a scam. Do not click on any links as this is a way scammers can steal your personal information. It is best to delete the text message and to not reply.

Veterinary pricing

A Post Falls reader recently contacted me about a veterinary experience he recently had which he thought was strange; I agree but you make up your own mind.

The reader took his dog in for a common canine issue and after an exam from the veterinarian he was presented with an estimate. But what was strange about the estimate was he was it had three prices which were a good, better, and best approach for treating his pet.

Neither the reader nor I have heard of a veterinary practice that provides a tiered estimate to care. Seems like a veterinarian should just council you about what is needed to heal your pet. Instead, the reader felt that the bill was being run up unnecessarily and was preying on an owner’s desire to do everything for their beloved pet.

To add more concern to the approach was the fact that some of the tests this veterinarian suggested had to be sent out to an offsite lab rather than done in-house; in other words, he was going to be charged for some tests that may have been necessary but would have to wait days for the results. This begs the question, how truly important were these tests?

I hope this approach to veterinary care does not expand to other practices or to the human world. Can you imagine your doctor giving you the same choices if you were lying in pain and agony? If I were presented this pricing approach it would leave me to wonder if my pet’s best health was their priority.

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Remember: I’m on your side.

If you have encountered a consumer issue that you have questions about or think our readers should know about, please send me an email at terridickersonadvocate@gmail.com or call me at (208) 274-4458. As The CDA Press Consumer Gal, I’m here to help. I’m a copywriter working with businesses on marketing strategy, a columnist, a veterans advocate and a consumer advocate living in Coeur d’Alene.

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