Skip to main content
No. of Recommendations: 1
I track my credit score through Mint.com and have a question. Under "credit inquiries" it lists only two instances, both last year (Jan & Oct), yet the rating for this factor is only listed as "Good". I would think that'd be terrific - esp. since I don't do business at all with one of them and the other was probably for something like a credit card offer I didn't seek. I'm puzzled....
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 3
BlueGrits,

You wrote, I track my credit score through Mint.com and have a question. Under "credit inquiries" it lists only two instances, both last year (Jan & Oct), yet the rating for this factor is only listed as "Good". I would think that'd be terrific - esp. since I don't do business at all with one of them and the other was probably for something like a credit card offer I didn't seek. I'm puzzled....

Hard credit inquiries are for applications for an extension of credit. This can be construed to include cases such as a utility company is opening an account for you or an insurer that is considering insuring you as well as a borrow lending you money. An inquiry should never show up without some explicit permission from you. Certainly the company cannot make the inquiry without already knowing your SSN.

Whether or not you actually do business with these entities is irrelevant. Either one of you can decide after the inquiry that the other is not worthy of the other's business.

Also two inquiries isn't really great or excellent. It's probably about average for the overall US population, so "Good" makes sense to me.

Finally hard inquiries only remain on your account for 2 years and their impact on your score diminishes fairly quickly.

- Joel
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 1
Hard credit inquiries are for applications for an extension of credit. This can be construed to include cases such as a utility company is opening an account for you or an insurer that is considering insuring you as well as a borrow lending you money.

Thank you -- that made me think of something. My identity was stolen some time back and for a while I was going through the process of negating cards people were opening in my name. I thought that was all behind me, but maybe someone's still trying and that's causing the hits. (I locked down my credit later on.)
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 2
Thank you -- that made me think of something. My identity was stolen some time back and for a while I was going through the process of negating cards people were opening in my name. I thought that was all behind me, but maybe someone's still trying and that's causing the hits. (I locked down my credit later on.)

There's not really a 'maybe' about it. Did you apply for credit (as Joel said - could be things like utilities, cell phones, or xx day same as cash type offers, not just credit cards, car loans or mortgages) near the dates that the inquiries show? If not, then you have a problem, but to understand what problem it is, you will need to figure out a few more things:

Were the credit inquiries from before you 'locked' your credit at the credit bureaus, or after?

If inquiries were from before, then you may not have allowed enough time for the inquiries to show up after 'locking' your credit - inquiries don't always show up immediately. So you will just need to go through the same dispute process as you previously did.

If they were from after - the 'lock' you put on your credit may not be doing what you thought it would do. There are 2 types of 'lock' - a credit freeze, and a fraud alert. A credit freeze requires you to lift the freeze (often at a cost*) if you want to allow a company to access your credit report, like when you apply for new credit, or are having a background check done. If you don't lift the freeze, you probably won't get credit or pass the background check.

If you put a fraud alert on your credit, that's not as strong as a credit freeze - it still allows access to your credit information if the entity asking for the report states that they have taken steps to verify you. It could be as simple as calling a telephone number that was put on the application to verify that you placed the request. But if the fraudster put their telephone number on the application, whoever is verifying it will get the fraudster, not you - so it's not nearly as strong as a credit freeze. Here's an explanation from the FTC https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0497-credit-freeze-faq...

What’s the difference between a credit freeze and a fraud alert?

A credit freeze locks down your credit. A fraud alert allows creditors to get a copy of your credit report as long as they take steps to verify your identity. For example, if you provide a telephone number, the business must call you to verify whether you are the person making the credit request. Fraud alerts may be effective at stopping someone from opening new credit accounts in your name, but they may not prevent the misuse of your existing accounts. You still need to monitor all bank, credit card and insurance statements for fraudulent transactions.

Three types of fraud alerts are available:

Initial Fraud Alert. If you're concerned about identity theft, but haven't yet become a victim, this fraud alert will protect your credit from unverified access for at least 90 days. You may want to place a fraud alert on your file if your wallet, Social Security card, or other personal, financial or account information are lost or stolen.

Extended Fraud Alert. For victims of identity theft, an extended fraud alert will protect your credit for seven years.

Active Duty Military Alert. For those in the military who want to protect their credit while deployed, this fraud alert lasts for one year.

To place a fraud alert on your credit reports, contact one of the nationwide credit reporting companies. A fraud alert is free. The company you call must tell the other credit reporting companies; they, in turn, will place an alert on their versions of your report.


So, if you only placed a fraud alert, you need to consider placing a credit freeze instead.

If you're okay with just placing a fraud alert to avoid the costs of the freeze (you should continue to monitor your accounts diligently), you should check to be sure that the 'extended' alert was placed, not the 'initial' alert. And you will need to renew it after 7 years.

AJ

*I do recall seeing an article that, in the wake of the Equifax breach, Congress was considering a law that said credit bureaus weren't going to be allowed to charge for credit freezes, but I can't find it now. And I don't know if the law was actually passed or not.
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 3
Equifax is offering free credit freezes and thaws through June 30th, 2018. I wouldn’t count on any help from Congress, though. The current administration is busy dismantling the CFBP and eradicating all forms of consumer protections. I had thought Equifax was going offer free freezes permanently but either I misunderstood or they changed their minds.

https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/blog/2017/09/free-credit-freeze...

----
Ticker Guide for The Walt Disney Company (DIS), Orbital ATK (OA), Global Payments Network (GPN), Time Warner (TWX)
Disclaimer: This post is non-professional and should not be construed as direct, individual or accurate advice
Disclosure: May own shares of some, many or all of the companies mentioned in this post (tinyurl.com/FuskieDisclosure)
Fool Code of Conduct: tinyurl.com/FoolCode
Warning: This post was composed on an iPad and is subject to autocorrect.
Print the post Back To Top