Thursday, May 17, 2007

The Hard Pull

I am excited to learn that there are two types of credit checks that can be done on an individual's credit report: The hard pull and the soft. In a fantastic post at My Money Blog, Jonathan writes:
Money geek slang, who knew? A credit check, also known as credit pull or credit inquiry, is (logically) when a third party wants to examine at your credit history.

The key here, as explained in the article, linked from The Simple Dollar is that a hard pull, often used when opening a new credit card account, sows up as a temporary -5 point demerit in the Byzantine occult world or FICO scores. A soft pull results in no demerit nor is it visible by others.

I remember I got a cryptic electronic call from a company with no phone number and a threat to pay them $50 via a cheque in the mail. No explanation was given why. I Googled the company name (a local company) and called their local line asking to be called back. I received no response except identical and daily automated calls. I reported the event to the local police thinking it was telephone fraud. As a result I found out they were a credit collections firm looking to get a $50 parking ticket paid.

I paid the city directly for the forgotten ticket but later found a ~5 hard pull on my record from them. I have a feeling it was out of spite. My lesson? Pay your parking tickets. Theirs? If they learn it, tell the creditor who you are and why you want $50. Also, leave your phone number.

I wish there was a way to give their record a demerit.