Did you know that banks sometimes perform a hard credit check before allowing you to open an account? While this most often happens when you open an account with an overdraft line of credit, it can happen with plain old checking and savings accounts, as well.
Why should you care?
Because hard credit checks can reduce your credit score. Admittedly, it’s a small effect, so those with stellar credit don’t have a lot to worry about. But if you have borderline credit, these sorts of things can be enough to make move you down into undesirable territory.
How can you protect yourself
The simplest way to protect your credit score is to ask the bank whether or not they’re going to run a credit check. Of course, if you really want/need the account, there’s not much you can do about it, but you’ll at least be making an informed decision.
If you’re familiar with any banks that do a hard credit check during the account opening process, please leave a comment below. I’ll start… I have it on good authority that ING Direct does this with their ING Electric Orange checking account, presumably because they offer an overdraft line of credit.