Why Florida Consumers should be Careful with, but Not Fearful of Hard Credit Checks

When Florida consumers see hard credit checks on their credit reports, they shouldn’t panic, but they should also avoid getting too many.

For Florida credit users, hard credit pulls are inevitable. Every time you apply for a loan or credit card, a hard credit inquiry appears on your credit reports. Each of these inquiries on its own takes a minor toll on your credit score. However, too many hard credit pulls can cause more noticeable damage. This is because applying for a lot of credit all at once looks like risky borrowing behavior. It makes you seem desperate for credit. Therefore, a good rule to follow when navigating hard credit pulls is to only authorize them when absolutely necessary.

Some Basic Facts about Hard Credit Checks for Florida Credit Users

Florida consumers should be careful not to confuse hard credit pull with soft credit inquiries. The latter doesn’t require your authorization and has no impact on your credit score. When you check your credit reports, you’ll likely see a number of soft credit checks because they happen frequently. For example, you’ve just created one by checking your own credit. Also, any time you get a credit card offer telling you that you’re “pre-approved,” the issuer has placed a soft pull on your credit report.

On the other hand, hard credit inquires normally cause your credit score to drop. Interestingly, the exact number of credit score points lost for a hard inquiry varies based on several factors.

  • You lose more points if you have recently opened several new accounts, especially if they are all the same type.
  • Credit score deductions are cumulative with hard credit checks. So, if you authorize four in a given month, the fourth inquiry is like to cost you more points than the first, second, or third.
  • If it has been a long time since you’ve opened a new account, minimal credit score points are lost for a hard credit inquiry.
  • Also, if you’re the type of Floridian who rarely authorizes a hard credit pulls, very few credit score points are deducted for the few that show up.

Keep in mind, too, that credit scoring companies understand that Florida consumers often shop for good loan terms when financing large purchases. Multiple hard credit pulls connected to a mortgage or auto loan only count as one inquiry. For example, FICO allows consumers 45 days to shop for home, car, or student loans. Strangely, VantageScore only gives you 14 days.

How Unauthorized Hard Credit Pulls Can Indicate Identity Theft

There are several reasons why Florida consumers should regularly check their credit reports. First, routine credit checks give you an opportunity to look for signs of identity theft, such as unauthorized hard credit inquiries. Naturally, seeing a hard inquiry that you don’t remember authorizing on one of your credit reports should raise concerns. Just make sure that the company name associated with the inquiry isn’t an alternate name of a familiar company.

If it turns out to be a legitimately unauthorized inquiry, it’s possible that you are a victim of identity theft. After discovering these types of items, the first thing you should do is file a police report with your local Florida authorities. Next, give Credit Repair Lawyers of America a call, and a credit lawyer will help you through the identity theft recovery process – for FREE.

The Free and Legal Way to Get Better Credit after Identity Theft

Don’t let fraudulent accounts or inquiries on your credit reports bring your credit score down. At Credit Repair Lawyers of America, we’ve been cleaning up credit reports for consumers since 2008 for free. How do we do it? All of our fees come from the defendants in settled cases. This is why our clients pay nothing for the work we do.

Let’s start the conversation about what we can do for your credit. Set up your free consultation today by calling Attorney Gary Nitzkin at (813) 940-7255 or sending him a message through our contact page.