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Does checking my credit score on Credit Karma count against me as an inquiry each time I update?

Jun 08, 2010
Helpful to 128 out of 132 people

This is a very common question and creates confusion for a lot of people. There are two types of inquires used by the credit bureaus which are often misunderstood.

Hard Inquiry:

Hard inquiries are created when a consumer applies for credit (auto loans, credit cards, mortgages, student loans, etc). Hard inquires will lower your credit score because lenders will view them as a sign of someone in need of credit and therefore a greater risk. Multiple hard inquires over a short period of time can be bad for one's credit score. However, hard inquires are not inherently bad. Consumers should be aware of them and limit the number of hard inquires by only applying for appropriate and useful loan products.

Soft Inquiry:

Soft inquires are the other type of inquires used by the credit bureaus. Soft inquires are used when the consumer requests the credit score on their own behalf. Credit Karma uses soft inquires whenever a user checks their credit score. Since these credit scores are not used in the application for credit, there is NO negative impact on the users credit score from checking their credit score on Credit Karma.

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Does checking my credit score on Credit Karma count against me as an inquiry each time I update?

Jun 08, 2010
Helpful to 128 out of 132 people

This is a very common question and creates confusion for a lot of people. There are two types of inquires used by the credit bureaus which are often misunderstood.

Hard Inquiry:

Hard inquiries are created when a consumer applies for credit (auto loans, credit cards, mortgages, student loans, etc). Hard inquires will lower your credit score because lenders will view them as a sign of someone in need of credit and therefore a greater risk. Multiple hard inquires over a short period of time can be bad for one's credit score. However, hard inquires are not inherently bad. Consumers should be aware of them and limit the number of hard inquires by only applying for appropriate and useful loan products.

Soft Inquiry:

Soft inquires are the other type of inquires used by the credit bureaus. Soft inquires are used when the consumer requests the credit score on their own behalf. Credit Karma uses soft inquires whenever a user checks their credit score. Since these credit scores are not used in the application for credit, there is NO negative impact on the users credit score from checking their credit score on Credit Karma.

How hard is it going to be to get an auto loan after getting repossessed?

Jun 08, 2010
Helpful to 18 out of 19 people

Repossession will remain on your credit report for 7 years and will influence how lenders assess your propensity to pay a loan. While getting approved for an auto loan after repossession is possible, you may have to wait a period of time and will probably be offered a high interest rate

You can wait one to two years before trying to finance a new car since lenders will likely charge you an enormous interest rate on an auto loan immediately after repossession. If you can take this time to improve your credit score, you will receive better financing options from lenders in the future. Take steps now to rebuild your credit, such as building good credit through a secured credit card, making regular on-time payments on all your accounts, and paying off any debts

Or you can try to obtain a loan sooner after repossession by applying with a high risk lender or subprime lender, which caters particularly to consumers with poor credit. While you can get an auto loan sooner this way, the tradeoff is that these lenders often carry a much higher rate than an average auto loan. Be sure to compare lenders to find the lowest rate, and in a couple months when your credit score improves, you can try to refinance your loan for a lower rate.

Check out rates at: http://www.creditkarma.com/trends/autonew

Will closing a long standing checking account hurt my credit score?

Jun 08, 2010
Helpful to 18 out of 20 people

Bank accounts normally go through the ChexSystems and not via the credit bureaus. The only way the closure could affect your credit score is if you have overdraft protection or a line of credit associated with your bank account. If you do, then this would be treated like the closing of an old credit account and most likely reduce your credit score.

As background, the ChexSystems was created by US banks and credit unions to aid themselves in identifying account applicants who have a history abusing checking accounts. You can be reported to ChexSystems for the following reasons:

* The bank was unable to collect for an overdraft, ATM transaction, or automatic payment which they honored on insufficient funds

* Multiple overdrafts

* Savings account, debit card or ATM abuse

* Providing false information in opening account or Fraud

If you are reported to ChexSytems you can expect that infraction to remain on your file for 5 years. In many cases, banks may not allow you to open a checking account if you have one more reports in ChexSystems, so like poor credit don't fall into this trap.

Verification of identity

Nov 04, 2010
Helpful to 5 out of 5 people

He, being your husband, probably shows up on your credit report making that information show up there too.

If you're still locked out, contact support and they can help you get access.

I have a "thin" file. How will this affect me qualifying for a mortgage loan?

Jun 08, 2010
Helpful to 15 out of 18 people

"Thin file" means that you have a fairly short or "thin" credit history. In these situations, it can be difficult to accurately provide a credit score since, in essence, there is no past history to score against.

When it comes to a mortgages, it depends on how "thin" your file is. Most likely, you have a pretty good score, but only have a few trade lines open, and for less than 24 months. Most lenders are looking for at least 2 or 3 accounts that have been open for at least 12 months, and have a substantial amount of activity. Some lenders have previously looked at alternate forms of credit, but in today's lending, the underwriters are scrutinizing every detail. There is a chance that if you have solid income, stable job history, significant down payment and additional assets, that you can be approved for a loan.

In order to build your credit file, you should use your credit regularly to pay for everyday purchases and pay them off every month. This will help you build responsible balance and monthly payment history which will bolster your ability to get a loan.

My score is 613 after filing bankruptcy a year ago. What is the best secured credit card for me?

Jun 08, 2010
Helpful to 11 out of 13 people

The Public Savings Bank Secured Visa Card (http://www.creditkarma.com/creditcard/publicsbsc01) is a great first step to rebuilding your credit and also guarantees approval because there is no credit score or income requirement. Like most secured cards, the Public Savings Card requires an upfront security deposit of a minimum $200 and up to $1,500, which also determines your credit limit.

Some tips on using secured cards: http://www.creditkarma.com/article/secured_credit_cards_to_rebuild_credit

Secured cards reports to all 3 major credit bureaus just like unsecured credit cards, but should you ever default on a payment, the minimum will be deducted from your security deposit so you can continue to build a positive credit history.

What sets this card apart from other secured cards is that it has no annual fee and just requires a one-time activation fee of $79, while almost all unsecured cards have a recurring annual fee. Also, penalty for a late payment or for going over your credit limit is not as steep as other secured cards, and the 11.24% APR is a low interest rate relative to what is generally offered to poor credit borrowers.

Another big bonus of choosing this card is its introductory offer of 0% interest on purchases for the first 6 months, which is unique to the unsecured credit card market; just make sure you pay off all the purchases charged interest-free for the first six months, or else you'll end up paying interest on your remaining balance once the offer period ends. With this card, you'll be on your way to raising your credit score high enough to apply for an unsecured credit card with confidence.

If I apply for a car loan with two different lenders, will that lower my credit score?

Jun 08, 2010
Helpful to 20 out of 25 people

When you apply for a car loan, the lender will do a hard inquiry on your credit report, meaning they pull your credit report to check your history and credit score to determine approval for your loan application. Hard inquiries show up on your credit report for two years.

Credit inquiries are one of the five key components that affect your credit score and every hard inquiry will slightly lower your credit score. A lender may perceive a consumer who has had too many credit inquiries as desperate for credit or as a potential credit risk. So be mindful of how many different lenders you go to apply for an auto loan because it can add up to bigger drop on your credit score than expected. Check out the graph of the distribution of credit score to number of credit inquiries from the Credit Karma community for a sense of how many hard inquiries can impact your credit score.

You can check how many inquiries you have at CK, just visit:

https://www.creditkarma.com/report/inquiries

By the way, checking your credit score through Credit Karma is a soft inquiry, not a hard inquiry, and will not lower your credit score.

Is there any way to search the discussion forums?

Dec 02, 2010
Helpful to 3 out of 3 people

This was just Recently added. There's a quick search box on the Q&A main page as well as a menu item "Search" up in the second nav bar.

i want to by a house but my credit score is 573 how can i buy a house?

Oct 08, 2010
Helpful to 3 out of 3 people

Yup, just utilize the card on a regular basis and pay it off each month. If you've been living off your income and using a debit card to make purchases, you can just swap out the debit card with the CC and your credit rating will start to rise.

Just make sure you pay it off regularly!

I'm about to get an APR hike on my credit card. What happens if I just let the account close?

Jun 08, 2010
Helpful to 3 out of 3 people

If you currently have a good credit score, several credit card accounts all with a long history and high available credit, this will have minimal impact on your credit score. If you have anything other than the above, the impact of closing one of your credit card accounts will most probably lower your credit score from 5-30 points.

Closing your credit card account can impact your credit in three ways.

1. You will have lower available credit.

2. You may have a shorter credit history if the closed account happens to be an older account.

3. Your credit card utilization may increase.

Each of the three can have an impact on your credit score. You can use the simulator here at CK to better understand how these factors will affect your credit score.

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