Credit check basics [video]


A company may perform a credit check to gain insight into your credit history. The company could request any number of details from your credit file, including the amount of debt that you owe and how many times you’ve missed a payment.

Hard credit checks and inquiries are visible to anyone accessing your credit report. A hard credit check will usually result in a credit score decrease. Soft credit checks and inquiries are only visible to you and don’t affect your credit score.

Before applying for credit, it’s important to confirm if a hard credit check will be performed. It’s always best to get this confirmation in writing. If a hard credit check is performed after you were told that it wouldn’t be, your written proof will be helpful in getting the hard inquiry removed.

If a company performs a hard credit check without your permission, ask them to remove it. If they don’t agree to the removal, you can file a complaint with a number of organizations. A complaint to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) will likely yield the best results. The CFPB is an agency of the United States government. Companies have 60 days to provide the CFPB with a response to your complaint. Most companies respond within 15 days.


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