Car buyers and credit checksLast week we introduced the first part of our blog series on educating car buyers about credit checks. In case you missed it, you can catch up on part 1 here. In this post, we continue our conversation on credit checks by answering five common questions car buyers have when it comes to financing and running credit reports. We hope you’ve enjoyed this series and learned a little bit in the process. Be sure to contact Bachman Chevrolet with any additional questions you have. We’ll be happy to talk to you!

Can A Dealership Run My Credit Without My Knowledge?

The dealership is required to get your permission before running a credit report. Usually, the salesperson asks you to sign a credit application and provide your Social Security Number before the check is run. Other means of doing so are done electronically where you may submit an application via the dealership’s website, or the salesperson may, given your permission, enter this information for you at the dealership and in your presence. By providing your information in such a manner, you have given your implied consent to obtain a credit report for the purpose of potentially doing business. The fact that a credit report has been run or an application has been submitted does not obligate you to purchase a vehicle should you determine otherwise.

Will My FICO Score Drop if the Dealer Runs My Credit?

The first request for a credit report or “inquiry” has a very small impact on your credit score, but subsequent inquiries “do not”, according to financial experts at Experian. Since it is well known that consumers shop around when they are buying a car, multiple inquiries occurring within a 30 day period won’t have any further effect on a consumer’s credit score. According to Experian, “10% of your credit score is based on inquiries or ‘credit checks.’ Each time you apply for different types of credit, (i.e. a credit card, mortgage, or auto loan) a ‘hard inquiry’ is placed on your credit report. Having too many hard inquiries outside of that initial 30 day window (while you are shopping) could indicate to lenders that you’re trying to overspend.”

What Can I Do Concerning My Credit Before Shopping?

The most recommended piece of advice given by dealership representatives and consumer advocates is to check your credit report yourself before you begin your car search. If you check the report yourself, you have the opportunity to clear up any mistakes or challenge any discrepancies. Resolving these problems ahead of time could raise your credit score and give you access to a wider or perhaps a more competitive range of finance options.

How Can I Obtain A Copy Of My Credit Report?

Under federal law, you have the right to obtain a free copy of your credit report from each of the nationwide consumer reporting agencies once a year.

To order your free annual credit report:

By telephone: Call toll-free: 1-877-322-8228

On the web: Visit https://www.annualcreditreport.com/index.action

By mail: Mail your completed Annual Credit Report Request Form* to:

Annual Credit Report Request Service

P.O. Box 105281

Atlanta, GA 30348-5281

* You can obtain the required form from the Federal Trade Commission’s web site at https://www.ftc.gov/faq/consumer-protection/get-my-free-credit-report

How Can I Get Pre-Approved For An Auto Loan?

Bachman Chevrolet offers an easy pre-approval process as well as experienced financial representatives that can answer any questions you have and make this part of the process quick and painless. We invite you to call us or stop in; we’re here to help and to answer any questions you may have!