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By Kathryn Pins
You may be surprised at some of the times your credit is pulled. I just recently learned that my credit score was pulled when I applied for a cell phone. After some research, I (thankfully) found out that it did not affect my score but it got me thinking, are there other times my score would be viewed? We’ve provided a list below so that you’re prepared for the next time you apply for a new loan or open an account, especially if you have frozen your credit.
A credit pull, also known as a credit inquiry, is when a third party views your credit report. As you will see in the list below, there are two types of credit inquiries. Only hard inquiries negatively affect your credit score. A hard credit inquiry happens when a potential lender checks your credit to determine whether or not you qualify for a loan and at what rate. (You can learn more by reading: Know the difference between hard vs. soft credit inquiries.)
Your credit would be pulled if you apply for one of the following:
Cell phone plan*
Paying for a rental car with a debit card*
A third party may view your credit score in the following circumstances:
Alliant membership application
Checking your own credit score
Opening a savings or checking account
Preapproval offers: credit cards, insurance quotes, lenders, etc.
These items are surprisingly sometimes a hard credit pull. A credit score is composed of a variety of factors, including whether or not you pay your bills on time. A cable, phone or utility company will do an inquiry because they want to do business with people who pay their bills.
A rental car company will want to ensure that you can pay for any damages to your car. To avoid this check on your credit, you can simply pay for a rental car using a credit card. Need more info? Read: The best way to pay for a rental car
If you are concerned about whether or not your credit score will be impacted, give the company a call. Often times, on an application, the organization will be upfront about how they pull credit. If you are still unsure, a conversation is always best.
Good credit will help you get better rates and more lending opportunities. It could even help you get your dream job. In order to ensure you have a healthy score and it stays that way, learn how your credit score is calculated and ways to build your credit score.
Kathryn Pins is a marketing content specialist at Alliant. She’s passionate about finding and communicating meaningful financial information with Money Mentor readers. Kathryn is a saver who gets more excited about certificates and her Roth IRA than shopping. When she does spend her earnings, it’s on furthering her education, travel, unique experiences, and loved ones.