Had a Hard Inquiry on Your Credit Report Without Your Permission?

credit report

Your credit score is a reflection of how well you have managed your money. It speaks volumes about you to people who may have big influence on some of your major life goals. For example – mortgage lenders can decide if and when you will own the home of your dreams. Even if your goal is to rent an apartment by yourself – in many areas of the country, landlords are now taking a look at their potential tenants’ credit reports before making a rental decision.

Many places of employment have also started screening job candidates via their credit reports before hiring – especially professions that involve dealing with money on a regular basis. Employers want to know how you’ve handled your own personal finances so they have an idea regarding how well you’ll handle the company finances.

If you do land that dream job – chances are good that you’ll need a vehicle to get yourself to work and home again every day. With fair to low credit, being granted an auto loan will be difficult. You will likely be able to find an auto lender willing to take you on (if your credit score is poor), but your interest rate will be through the roof.

As you can see – the value of a good credit score is priceless, and most of us are striving to get or keep ours into the “good” or “excellent” range. Paying bills on time, keeping your income to debt ratio within acceptable limits, and living within your means are good ways to keep your score on the rise.

If you’re checking your credit report on a regular basis (as we all should be), you should find no hard inquiries on your report without your prior permission. A hard inquiry into your credit report occurs when you apply for a loan or credit card and the lender checks your credit history. Hard inquiries requires YOUR PERMISSION in order to occur, because each one will drop your credit score by a few points. That happens because it is assumed that you are trying to borrow more money or get another credit card when a hard inquiry is made, which means that you may be taking on more debt. A hard inquiry is like a red flag for credit reporting bureaus.

That being said, if you happen to check your credit report and discover that a hard inquiry has been made without your permission, you should take action against the company or individual who requested your credit report. Without your permission or a valid reason set forth by law, it is illegal for them to have checked your credit without your approval. You should contact a bankruptcy or credit repair attorney who will be able to get the hard inquiry removed from your report. Additionally, you may also be able to recover money if you suffered any damages (loss of income, denial of loan, job loss) due to the error.

Always remember the importance of checking your credit report on a regular basis. (Checking your own credit score and report will not drop your score at all.) Errors could be sitting on your credit history right at this very moment.

Image Credit: GotCredit

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