RMCU Q3 2023 Savvy Money LANDING PAGE

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We’re giving you the 411 on credit inquiries because knowing how
they affect you is a big part of being financially healthy.
When you apply for credit or a loan a creditor will “pull” your credit.
This check is called a hard inquiry but there are also soft inquiries, too.

Your credit score received from free soft pull sources like Savvy Money, Credit Karma, Credit Sesame, etc.
may not accurately reflect your actual FICO credit score.

Credit Pulls

Soft Vs. Hard Inquiries


  • Are commonly used for employment verification, to pre-approve you for offers, insurance quotes or when you are checking on your score and report.
  • Show companies exactly what you would see if you were to pull your own credit report from Experian, Equifax or TransUnion.
  • Are accessible by companies without your permission - but don’t worry, it doesn’t affect your credit in any way.
  • Won’t negatively affect your credit score and won’t appear on your credit report.


  • Are used after you apply for credit to determine whether or not you will get it.
  • Will show up on your credit report, and will typically remain there for two years.
  • Are commonly used for applications for mortgages, auto loans, credit cards, student loans, personal loans and apartment rentals.
  • Require your consent in order for companies to pull your report.
  • Can lower your score, especially if you have too many pulls in a short amount of time (though pulls in a two week period for the same type of loan - like a mortgage - are viewed as a single one).
What Makes Up Your

Credit Score?

Want to raise your credit score or get a better understanding of what factors go into it?

40% Payment History
23% Credit Usage
21% Credit Age
11% Mix of Credit
5% Recent Credit


Categories that Make
Up A Credit Score


Payment History

Essentially what lenders want to know is whether or not you're good about paying your loans on time (the better you are, they figure, the more likely you are to pay them).


Credit Usage

Credit usage, also known as credit utilization, is the ratio between the total balance you owe and your total credit limit on your accounts. This is why closing accounts hurts your score; it shrinks your total credit limit. It's best to have a lower utilization - below 20% percent.


Credit Age

The age of your oldest account, the age of your newest account, the average age of your accounts and whether you've used an account recently are all factors related to the length of the credit history. In general, the longer your credit history is the better.


Mix of Credit

Your score also takes into consideration how many total accounts you have and what types of credit you have. Your score will likely be higher if you have experience with different types of credit, like mortgages and installment students loans, and not just a credit card.


Recent Credit

Opening multiple credit accounts in a short period of time could represent a greater risk for lenders - those who see that you have multiple recent inquiries may worry that you are applying to so many places because you are unable to qualify for credit - or because you need money in a pinch.


  • A history of multiple missed payments can seriously tank a score, so one of the best ways to bump up your credit score is to make consistent and timely payments.
  • Paying off your balance each month doesn't hurt the 'Credit Usage' component of your score.
  • Inquiries within a two-week period for a specific purpose, like a mortgage, count as one - so this doesn't excuse you from shopping around for the best credit deal.