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The day was windy and clear, and for
most of the hour-long program, a blue tarp covered the sculpture.
"Hero," the horse-shaped sculpture is
similar to the statues in Horse Fever, the public art exhibition organized in
Ocala several years ago. Chris Spears, owner of Prestige Auto
commissioned the artwork after he saw local artist Kim Samson's contribution to
Horse Fever, "Old Glory, " another patriotically-themed horse sculpture. He
called Samson a "good friend and customer."
The Truth About Multiple Credit
Inquiries By Michelle
When you go shopping for a car or a home, do you become a
little concerned when you hear these words: "Can I pull your credit
Lots of consumers bristle because they think this means a credit
inquiry may be posted on their credit report. The credit-smart folks out there
understand that with too many credit inquiries, their almighty credit scores
(generated by each of the three major credit bureaus) could take a
In fact, a reader
wrote to me on this very issue: "I hear that every time you test-drive a car the
dealership runs a credit check, and since the big three credit-reporting
companies penalize you (i.e., lower your credit rating) for more than three
credit checks within a certain time period, the test drives can cost
Is this reader right?
I put the question to Fair Isaac
Corp., the company that created the FICO credit-scoring model many lenders
"It's ironic that so much attention gets focused on credit inquiries
because they are such a tiny part of the FICO score," said Craig Watts, public
affairs manager for Fair Isaac.
For starters, Watts dispels the notion
that there is an inquiry quota of three. "That's a myth," he said.
perhaps it would help if I first explained why the scoring models count
inquiries or requests from lenders in the first place. Lenders use scores to
assess how risky a borrower might be, and multiple credit inquiries could
indicate that someone is having money problems and needs lots of
So here's the truth about credit inquiries, according to Fair
Â· The credit-scoring model recognizes that many consumers shop
around for the best interest rates before buying a car or home and that their
searching may cause multiple lenders to request their credit report. To
compensate for this, multiple auto or mortgage inquiries in any 14-day period
are counted as one inquiry.
Â· In the newest formula used to calculate
FICO scores, that 14-day period has been expanded to any 45-day period, Watts
said. This means consumers can shop around for an auto loan for up to 45 days
without affecting their scores. But the old 14-day rule might still apply at
some lenders that aren't using the new version.
The newest FICO version
went online at all three credit agencies -- TransUnion, Equifax and Experian --
in 2004, Watts said. Typically, it takes lenders months to adjust their
processes so they can accommodate revised formulas -- and some lenders never
adjust, he said.
Â· The FICO score ignores all mortgage and auto inquiries
made in the 30 days before scoring. If you find a loan within 30 days, the
inquiries won't affect your score while you're rate-shopping.
"hard" credit inquiry (meaning the consumer has applied for some form of credit,
prompting the creditor to check the credit report or score) that is counted
normally subtracts no more than five points from a person's score. Often, no
points are subtracted.
Â· The score does not count requests that a lender
has made for your credit report or score in order to make you a "preapproved"
credit offer (you know, those darned offers that crowd your mailbox).
The formula doesn't count inquiries made by a lender reviewing an account you
already have with that lender.
Â· Inquiries that come from employers are
not counted. Nor is it counted when you ask to see your own report or
"Realistically, only a narrow group of people has good reason to
be cautious about the effect inquiries could have on their FICO score," Watts
Here's who might be concerned, according to Watts:
who take an unusually long time (several months) to shop for a new mortgage or
Â· Consumers who shop around in the same year for several
different lines of credit not associated with a mortgage or auto loan.
People who know before they begin applying for credit -- presumably from
conversations with creditors -- that their credit score barely qualifies them
for their desired credit offering.
"We generalize by saying that
typically no more than 10 percent of a FICO score's weight is determined by a
person's taking on [and searching for] new credit," Watts said. "But for most
people, inquiries have little to no influence on their FICO scores."
there you have it: the lowdown on credit inquiries.