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.
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.
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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