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Have you ever wondered, “If I am shopping for a home loan, will my credit be affected each time a credit report inquiry is made?” It’s a pretty logical and intelligent question to ask; the answer is: it depends.

I know, I ususally hate getting those answers also, but in actuality your credit score will not be significantly affected if the credit checks are done in a short period of time (I would say within a 30 day period). When a credit check is made by a potential lender it is called a “hard inquiry.” When a hard inquiry occurs it does have an impact on your credit score. However, when you’re shopping for a mortgage or a car loan, credit bureaus typically cluster the hard inquiries together because the credit reporting bureaus understand that the consumer is shopping for the best loan available.

“For example, if you’re shopping for a new mortgage and three potential lenders pull your credit score within three weeks, that is looked at as one inquiry for that purpose,” says a True Credit representative.

Your Credit

One card you should not carry: Your Social Security Card.

Leave it at home. There is no reason that you need to carry your SSC with you at all times. Most people have their Social Security card number memorized. If you’re not one of those people, then only carry your card with you when you know you need to show proof of it to an organization or agency. With the amount of identity theft that occurs in this time an age, it falling into the wrong hands, can cause major head aches. I’m sure there are many out there that have experienced some problems with identity.

When I purchased my first condo, I found out through an Experian report that I supposedly had a credit card living in Miami. Funny, because at the time, I had never even been to Miami.

Lock it up:

Apartment complexes and condominiums typically have locking mailboxes, but these types of secure mailboxes aren’t as common in residential, single-family neighborhoods. Some of you have had the occasional teenage prank pulled on you finding a nice surprise in your mailboxes. Mailboxes with locking devices are becoming more popular at hardware stores because identity theft is spreading. Taking precaution to protect your personal information can save you months of agony.

Shred your documents:

If you don’t shred your personal documents and the wrong people access the information, the result can be devastating to your credit. Perps will often attempt to open new accounts using your name and information. If they’re successful, they will use the new account and divert the account information to the perps address or post office box. Very smart now-a-days. You might not even know that the account was established (as was the case with me). They’ll be receiving the bills and then just throwing them out. That can kill your your credit.

Keep an eye on your credit card:

While it is difficult, people should not let their credit card out of their sight or else they run the risk of becoming a victim of skimming. Skimming has become prevalent at some restaurants and gas stations where a clerk might have a small device that scans your credit cards. Essentially, what it is it’s a very small scanner that captures all the information that is on the magnetic strip, and then the card’s information can be cloned. Of course, when you are in a restaurant, keeping your credit card visible at all times is nearly impossible. What can you do? Attempt to use cash.

Final Thoughts

Check your credit history. Consumers can check their credit history for free once a year at Annual Credit Report. The free reports will not contain an actual credit score, but you can get the scores for a fee. This is probably the best way to keep track of your credit history and your identity.

Rich Dad Says: “Use caution when carrying your credit cards and identification, don’t lose your wallet.”

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9 Comments »

Comment by Tom Voli
2007-01-16 12:19:35

Excellent information. It is great to see others with a passion for consumer advocacy. Many consumers leave themselves subject to being taken advantage of and your information helps remind consumers that they are responsible for knowing how to protect themselves.

 
Comment by Allen.H
2007-01-16 12:40:09

Hmmm, some robust tips there! great content!

Why do i have a feeling you are losing some creditability by using the 2nd most popular theme in the blogosphere? Sure, you can delete this comment if you want to, but I’m starting to like this blog and I think people would take it more seriously if it used something more unique.

First impressions do count after all :)

Keep it up,
Allen.H

 
Comment by Jane
2007-01-16 13:04:40

Allen,

As I mentioned in http://www.richdadsays.com/2007/01/15/greetings-to-all-our-new-visitors/ we are very much in appreciation of any feedback we can get. The more people that suggest topics or help us in narrowing them down, the better information we can give you as a reader.�

Thanks for stopping by and we’ll try to cater to as many people as possible. I completely agree, first impressions do count.

Again, thanks for the feedback.

Best,

Jane

 
Comment by Jane
2007-01-16 13:10:14

Tom,

Thank you for the support. I agree, keeping consumers well informed will limit the amount of vulnerability they leave themselves open to.

It’s great to see you being active here with your comments. Keep it up! :)

Jane

 
Comment by Tyler
2007-01-16 15:05:40

I try and shred all my documents after I am finished with them. I also periodically check my credit score and to see who have been running checks on me.

 
Comment by Jane
2007-01-16 15:18:31

Tyler,

You are probably in the top 5% of people that actually take a proactive approach in keeping their credit in check. Good job!

Jane

 
Trackback by FIRE Finance
2007-02-22 10:13:53

Feb - Week #2 - Round Up Of Carnivals And Festivals!…

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2007-05-18 19:13:49

[...] May presents Career Ramblings ? Blog Archive ? Keeping Your Credit Clean: Crucial Tips You MUST Consider posted at Career Ramblings. When a credit check is made by a potential lender it is called a ?hard [...]

 
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2008-01-04 13:57:12

[...] credit. The changes are expected to roll out this spring, so be sure you’re in the know. Here are some great tips to keep your credit squeaky [...]

 
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