Who looks at your credit report?By Caitlin in Credit
Many institutions (and sometimes individuals) will pull your credit file, and for various reasons. These institutions include banks, utility companies and various others. The question is: why do the they pull your credit file? And the answer is, they pull your credit score to determine how financially responsible you are. In some situations even employers ask to see a copy of your credit file, and for the same reason: a credit report can say a lot about an individual, and a high credit score speaks a lot about how responsible you have been with your credit and debt payments in the past.
Do credit inquiries affect your credit?
Credit inquiries can indeed affect your credit score. If you pull your credit yourself, your credit score will not be hit. This is known as a “soft inquiry.” On the other hand, when a prospective lender or credit card company pulls your credit score with the intention of lending you money or providing you with credit, your credit score will receive a small hit.
Have you ever been chased around a store by a credit card salesman? Well, that’s often all it takes for an individual to sign up for a new credit card. However, it’s important that you don’t apply for credit that you don’t need so that your credit score doesn’t take an unnecessary hit.
The same logic applies to mortgages. If you are searching for a mortgage, don’t shop around by visiting many banks. Each bank pulls your credit score individually and as a result your credit score takes a hit each time. Instead, go straight to a solid mortgage broker that only pulls your credit score once and does the shopping for you. If you’re in the market for a mortgage, apply here.
So, who looks at your credit score?
If you’re applying for a new mortgage, if you want to refinance, or if you want to apply for a home equity loan or any other loan that a bank offers, you can bet the bank will pull your credit score.
Home loans are very large in size and so banking institutions want to ensure that they are lending to financially responsible individuals.
This type of credit inquiry will affect your credit score.
Similar to banks, landlords often pull your credit score because they want to make sure you will make your rent payments. It also serves as a way to confirm your identity and confirm the job and income you are declaring. This will also influence the amount you have to put down for deposit. In this situation, however, your credit score is not affected by the inquiry.
Cell Phone Companies
Cell phone companies also look at your credit score. They may not be lending you money but you are signing a long-term service contract with them and they want to be sure you make your payments on time. To be granted the service, the credit inquiry that occurs will have an effect on your credit, however any checks that follow (for consumer reviews) would not.
Similar to cell phone companies, various utility companies may also pull your credit score. This is done to determine your rates or see if a down payment might be required for the services they offer. In this situation, the credit inquiry would not affect your credit score.
Credit Card Companies
Before you are qualified for a new credit card, a credit card company will pull your credit score to see how responsible you have been with credit in the past. This would influence your interest rate, and impact your credit score. As stated above, avoid unnecessary credit card applications.
Certain employers will pull your credit score when you apply for a job. Again, they may want to see how responsible you are with your finances. That being said, this type of inquiry also does not affect your credit score.
Other lenders, such as car loan providers or leasing companies, will also pull your credit score for reasons similar to those stated above. Depending on the situation your credit score may be affected so it is important that you speak with the lender or institution before signing any documents.