Category Archives: The Interview

What are Hard Credit Inquiries?

Hard credit inquiries are requests to check your credit report to help lenders or credit card issuers make a lending decision. This is also known as a hard pull on your credit report. It occurs anytime you are getting a loan or new credit card, and unlike soft credit inquiries, hard inquiries can have a negative impact on your credit score.

On your credit report, the credit bureaus may categorize these inquiries differently. For example, TransUnion calls them “regular inquiries,” Equifax calls them “inquiries in the last 12 months,” and Experian calls them “requests viewed by others.”

How hard pulls affect your credit score:

Hard inquiries may or may not affect your credit score. For many people, one additional credit inquiry may not affect their score at all. For others, one additional inquiry may lower their FICO score by 5 points. Although one hard inquiry may only drop your credit score by a few points, multiple hard inquiries in a short time can cause significant damage to your score. This scoring is dependent on such factors, including:

a)      Number of recent credit inquiries
b)      How recent your last inquiries were
c)      Number of recently opened accounts
d)      How recent your last account opening was

Inquiries also have a larger negative impact on your credit score if you have few accounts or a short credit history.

Each type of credit checks counts as one inquiry with the exception of when you are “rate shopping.” This is when your credit score considers all inquiries within a 14 or 45 day period (depending on which model is being used) as a single inquiry. You can avoid lowering your credit score by doing your entire rate researching, such as for a mortgage or an auto loan, within this short period of time.

Remember, hard inquiries should be minimized as much as possible. Applying for too much credit may signal that you are desperate for credit or that you weren’t able to qualify for credit. Having a large number of inquiries on your credit report indicates to lenders that you are a greater risk and you are more likely to declare bankruptcy than people with no inquiries on their reports.

Disputing Hard Credit Inquiries

If a hard inquiry occurred without your permission, you can attempt to dispute it. However, if you authorized the hard inquiry, you will have to wait two years before it falls off your credit report.

Learn about how to dispute unauthorized inquiries on your credit report.

10 Best Questions to Ask During an Interview

A common question employers will ask you at the end of a job interview is, “Do you have any questions for me?” As a candidate, you want to avoid making the mistake of saying, “No, I don’t have any questions to ask you right now.” By having no questions to ask shows the interviewer that you are uninterested, unprepared, and have no independent thoughts of your own. You want to always come prepared to a job interview with a list of questions to ask. Keep in mind that an interview is a two-street. While the employer is interviewing you to determine if you are fit for the job, at the same time you should also be asking questions to see if the position or the company is the best choice for you.

By asking quality questions and showing genuine interest, you will stand out from the competition. It’s important to show employers that you have done your homework. Employers make assumptions and judgments about you based on the questions you ask and whether you have done your research on the company prior to the interview.

Here are 10 good questions to ask the employer at the end of a job interview: Continue reading

Elevator Speech Tips

To answer the common question, “So what do you do?” effectively, apply elevator speech tips to create the perfect elevator pitch. Whether you are trying to raise capital, market your business, or promote yourself, it is crucial to have an elevator pitch. You should be able to describe yourself, your business, your goals, and your passions quickly and effectively. Keep in mind the goal and purpose of an elevator speech. If your elevator pitch is strong and compelling, it can lead to the exchange of business cards or a future meeting to discuss opportunities. Thus, elevator speeches are a great marketing tool to persuade prospective employers and clients about your product, or you as an individual.

So how can you prepare an elevator speech that will entice your audience to want to know more? Here are 3 elevator pitch tips to keep in mind when you create an elevator speech. Continue reading