In the process of trying to rebuild my credit (old story - ex wanted to be in charge of paying bills then lost interest and wrecked my credit rating), I decided to start using my Sears card. The one in my wallet was expired, so I asked to be sent a new card. Ironically, I was probably due to receive one soon anyway, as the one in my wallet expired on 8/31/11. I figured using the card for small purchases and paying it off immediately would help keep the card active. The next day, I received a notfication from one of the monitoring services that the card issuer had made a hard inquiry on my report, thereby damaging my FICO score (I am assuming). I presume this is something I indirectly "authorized" under the terms of the card. Has this happened to anyone else? I'm pretty upset, and called the card issuer, and they told me this was to determine whether there were any alerts on my credit, and that this was something they didn't feel the need to warn or inform me about in advance. I'm trying to rebuild my credit, as I said, which is largely damaged as a result of late payments I was unaware of. I'm fine with doing the hard work of rebuilding my credit, and now pay every bill as soon as I receive it. But I'm bummed about this, as I need to apply for a car loan in early November, and my FICO score is marginal (was 587 a few days ago). Again, I'm assuming I have no recourse, but figure other people mighht benefit from my experience. If there is anything I can do about this, I'd appreciate knowing about it.
DId they say they closed your account and it needed to be reopened? Normally when an account is expired they send a new card
They said they did send a new card, but they were treating it as if I had reported a "lost" card, which wasn't really the case - I'm sure it's in pile of stuff in my house somewhere, not being used elsewhere - otherwise it wouldn't have a zero balance, which it has had since I paid it off in April. The account was still active the whole time.
Sorry - should have been more clear. I'm a tad upset at the moment.
Any issuers with existing relationship with you can pull your credit hard or soft without your express permission. Obviously issuers with really credit score unfriendly policies will suffer from consumer revolt. So I think you are stuck with it. My guess is that they haven't been softing your card since it was inactive so felt it was necessary to pull to make sure things had not changed substantially. Their crappy system probably auto pull hard.
The card may have been inactive, but when I called to get an account update, it accurately described my zero balance and said I had $50 available cash advance, so that made me think the account was active, even though I wasn't sure if I had activated the new card. It's even possible I did activate the new card and it just wasn't the one in my wallet- the customer service rep didn't say when I called to request the new card. My hunch is that it had more to do with it being treated as a "lost card" request, but then I'm clearly no expert. I'm sure I am stuck with it. Maybe some minimal use of the card will ofset the damage - and I'm still at only two hard pulls.