What is the deal with every service based company running credit inquiries? I'm talking DirecTV, AT&T, most insurance providers, pretty much any company wants to check your credit for everything. I think the worst part about this new obsession is that most of these companies' employees, while instructed to inform you that they will be checking your credit, have no idea what this means to the customer! I recently purchased my first home and the first items were to get tv service, internet service and insurance. Being that I had not yet closed on the purchase, I was weary when all of these providers requested SSN. When I asked why, I was told that they would be running a check of credit, of course. When I asked why my credit score was relevant to any of these, I was met with silence. The operators had no idea why they were checking credit! When I asked if these credit checks would be of the so-called "hard pull" variety, I was met with more silence. Eventually, I was informed that none of these checks would affect my score adversely. Wrong. I only lost 7 points, but my point is what is going on here? Why are we subjected to constant credit inquiries for items that did not require this a few short years ago? With identity theft running rampant, why is every company allowed require a SSN (that they keep on file, despite laws stating that this not acceptable or allowed) then pull credit? Why are there no protections in place for consumers? Service providers are going to do just that, provide service, regardless of what your credit score is, why do they need it? In the case of most, they are using scores against customers as a way of saying "Hey, we don't trust you, you need to pay us a "deposit" to start service." A deposit that is never returned, just extra cash out of pocket. I guess I'm a little bitter that these companies are using the harsh economic climate against their very lifeblood (consumers) as a means of inflating their profits and it seems no one is stepping in to curb these new techniques.
My advice to everyone is this, when a service provider tells you that they need your SSN to run a credit check, you should just assume that the inquiry is going to end up on your reports and bring your score down, regardless of what the company representative says to you. If you don't feel like you can afford the points, don't take the chance.
I understand that this is common practice now, I don't understand how we got here. A service provider is NOT lending you anything. In fact, prior to activation of any service, the service provider has done absolutely nothing! I am paying for a service that is provided and I should be paying for that service upon provision. That means, when I get my first monthly bill, I pay it. Just as I would pay a mechanic to fix my car AFTER he fixed it.
If you are paying for a service after you recieve it, you are being loaned money. In the case of an automechanic, he has a "secured loan" in that he can refuse to give you the car if you refuse to pay.
Long gone are the days of the good ol "handshake seals the deal", and I have made many of those in my 70 yrs. It's a shame, but that is where we have allowed ourselves to go, and it is only going to get worse. I feel sorry for what the younger generation has to put up with. At my age, I am at least in a position where I can refuse to go along with any deal if they insist on any personal info that I don't want them to have, and I have turned down many. I am not going to let just anyone know every thing about me personally. We do have a choice, it just depends on what you want, and how bad you want it. You need to make priorities and say the hell with the rest.
Legal requirements to provide your SSN
"If a business or other enterprise asks you for your SSN, you can refuse to give it. However, that may mean doing without the purchase or service for which your number was requested. For example, utility companies and other services ask for an SSN, but do not need it; they can do a credit check or identify the person in their records by alternative means.
Giving your SSN is voluntary, even when you are asked for the number directly. If requested, you should ask why your SSN is needed, how your number will be used, what law requires you to give your number and what the consequences are if you refuse. The answers to these questions can help you decide if you want to give your Social Security number. The decision is yours."
Permissible purpose for access to your CR is authorized for business transactions "initiated by the consumer."