Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Bumpage: bumping off hard inquiries from your credit report



I recently "bumped" my Equifax credit score up into the 800+ range. Did you know that you can bump off hard inquiries from your credit report to raise your credit score?  It's a little known, very mysterious process called bumpage, also known as B*.  I will try to explain it in detail in this article.

To understand how bumpage works, first we need to talk about the difference between a hard inquiry and a soft inquiry.
Hard inquiries (also known as hard pulls) appear on your credit report when a company pulls your credit report and evaluates it.  This happens every time you apply for new credit: a new credit card, store loan, car loan, mortgage, or personal loan.  Each inquiry you get will drop your credit score by a few points.  The amount of new credit inquiries account for about 10% of your credit score calculation.  

Hard inquiries damage your credit score temporarily.  Inquiries that are over 2 years old don't affect your credit score and inquiries over 6 months old have less of an effect on your score compared to recent inquiries.  This is why you should never apply for any new credit cards if you intend to get a major loan like a mortgage within a 6 month period.

A soft inquiry (also known as a soft pull) does not damage your credit score.  A soft inquiry is made on your credit report when you pull your own report, such as when you get a simulated credit report from Credit Karma, Credit Sesame or Credit.com.  Some companies pull a soft inquiry on your credit file to see if you're worthy of them sending you targeted or pre-approved credit card offers.  Banks and other companies can pull a soft inquiry to confirm your identity.  Your prospective employer or landlord may pull a soft inquiry to assess your financial profile and risk.  Also, a business or credit card company can routinely perform a soft inquiry to check your credit report.

Imagine that the credit file that each credit reporting agency has on you only has a limited amount of space.  Every new account you open takes up some space in your credit file.  Every new inquiry that appears on your report also takes up some more space in your credit file.  Hard inquiries and soft inquires both take up space in your credit file.

As new information is being added to your credit report and the amount of space available gets maxed out, old information from your credit report begins to drop off and disappear from your report. 

Think of your credit report as a “bookshelf” and your credit information as “books”.  If you keep adding new books (new accounts, new hard inquiries, new soft inquires), you will soon run out of space on the bookshelf.  Once you run out of shelf space, with each new book you add, you have to remove one of the “older books.”  The bookshelf hasn’t increased in size, the only thing that has changed are the type of books on the shelf. 

Adding new data to your credit report will cause the old data to get “bumped” off.  What is this old data that gets bumped off?  Your credit file's hard inquiries!  Not all hard inquiries will drop – mortgage and insurance inquiries seem to remain “sticky” and cannot get bumped off.

To achieve bumpage of your hard inquiries, you use different credit report and score services to make multiple soft inquiries (soft pulls).  As you fill up your credit file with many soft inquiries, the hard inquiries will eventually get bumped off.  When the hard inquiries fall off your credit report, they no longer bring your credit score down, and your credit score should increase.  This is how I bumped my score up to 800+.

Bumpage is achievable with the credit reporting agencies Equifax and Transunion but not possible with Experian.  

Today I will discuss my process of bumping all of the credit inquiries off my Equifax credit report.  To start, my Equifax score was already over 760, so bumping off inquiries really wasn’t necessary for me to get approved for more credit.  I just wanted to proceed to bump off my credit inquiries for the thrill of it. (Yes, I’m a credit freak).

To achieve bumpage of Equifax, you need to accumulate 85 soft pulls.  This can be done in 28 days or less by signing up for 3 daily soft pulling sites.  You can run a soft inquiry on your credit report one time per day with each of these sites:

My Privacy Matters (MPM)
You can sign up for the daily puller called My Privacy Matters through this link (Eliminate ID Theft - EIDT).  This service costs $10.95 a month.  48 hours after signing up for EIDT, call 866-440-0461 to have them activate your login ID. 

After you login to Eliminate ID Theft, you can check your credit score with soft pulls provided by My Privacy Matters, which is processed at www.myprivacymatters.com

You can use MPM to pull your credit daily, however you MUST not pull it again until 24 hours + 1 minute later the next day.  This means if you soft pull today at 7:00am, you must soft pull tomorrow at or after 7:01am tomorrow, and not a minute earlier. 

CreditCheck Monitoring Premium (CCM)
You can sign up for CCM via USAA credit monitoring through this link: www.usaa.com.  You don’t need to be in the military, I signed up as a civilian.  This service costs $12.25 a month.

Once you sign up, you can login to your account here and start soft pulling daily.  You don’t have to exactly pull 24 hours apart with this daily puller.

Equifax Complete (EQC)
Sign up for Equifax Complete 30 day free trial here.  If the free trial ends, this service will cost $16.95 a month to maintain.  You don’t have to exactly pull 24 hours apart with this daily puller.

When pulling MPM, CCM, and EQC daily, you can count the number of soft pulls to your credit report with this EQ B* counter.
Copy the information that Equifax displays in this portion of your report (looks like above)
Then paste it into the EQ B* Counter to count the number of soft pulls you've added to your file
Once you login to your Equifax account, click on view score details, then inquiries.  Copy all of the inquiries listed that “do not affect your report” and then paste them into the EQ B* counter.  After you get 85 counts, you will begin to achieve bumpage!  This will take at least 28 days.

What are the risks to attempting B*? 

The biggest downside of all of your hard work with tediously soft pulling your credit report daily is that all of your soft inquiries might get “chopped.”  Choppage is a process where Equifax “chops” off the majority of all the soft inquiries you’ve worked hard to keep pulling and storing in your credit file.  This is a preventative measure Equifax uses to keep track of your credit file size and prevent it from getting filled up to maximum capacity.

Choppage can happen once a month and can be quite frustrating if it happens just before you achieve bumpage.  This doesn’t happen to everyone but it can happen.  If it happens to you, then it means that you’ve lost the money you put into paying for these daily pullers for the month, and you will need to continue to pull for one more month to achieve complete bumpage.  Look here to see when possible choppage dates appear. 

You will know that choppage has happened to you if you paste your inquiries into the EQ B* Counter and you lost a large chunk of the soft pulls you've accumulated.  If you decide not to use 3 daily pullers, you will know if you have been chopped if you pull your credit report over 85 days and have not already achieved bumpage.

The best way to knock off all of your hard inquiries is to sign up for the 3 daily pullers (MPM, CCM, and EQC) and start pulling every day for 28 days.  Even if choppage occurs, you should be able to bump off your inquiries before the next chop happens.

After you achieve the bumpage that you want, fell free to call each credit monitoring service and cancel your subscription.

As you can see, bumpage is an interesting hack you can do to bump off your hard inquiries from your credit report and bump up your credit score.  Today I discussed bumpage of your Equifax report.  I will discuss bumpage of your Transunion report in the future.  Any questions?  Ask me in the comments section below or read more discussion about it here and here.

Good luck. 

20 comments:

  1. Great site! I just starting to read about bumpage and found ur site! Keep up the great work and I love the unique format of the site.

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  2. What a great summary of how to...

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  3. Your post is very useful. Thank you. Now how do i do bumpage of my Transunion report ? Andy

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  4. Thank you all for the comments. I have been postponing bumpage of Transunion inquiries since the wife and I are in the process of purchasing a new vehicle. We're not sure whether we will finance or lease yet. Either way, a credit pull will likely be done which would interfere with bumpage.

    For more immediate information on B* Transunion, check out this creditboards thread: http://creditboards.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=427883

    Good luck!

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    1. can you email me because I'm lost jones.ketra@yahoo.com

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  5. Thank you for all the emails regarding B*. The bumpage process changes constantly as new credit monitoring companies offer new credit pulling products and others discontinue their products. My posting was a detailed post on my personal experience with B* Equifax in 2012. The methods and tools used to achieve B* may have changed with the times.

    For the most up to date information on B*, check out the creditboards.com forums. They are very verbose and packed with details, and the users are extremely helpful at giving you personalized advice.

    Good luck to those attempting the B* journey. It is a tedious one that takes a lot of patience. It can be very exciting when you start achieving real results.

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  6. What are the best products to use for pulling right now?

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    Replies
    1. The safest way to achieve bumpage B* without risk of choppage C* is to use USAA's Credit Check Monitoring Premium service to daily pull your soft inquiries. Give it time and you will see results. Once you sign up and use Equifax Complete, you may be at risk for choppage. Good luck!

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    2. Hey Relentles, Thanks for this. I never knew about B*. ANyways, I just signed up for USAA a few hours ago...
      To do a Soft Pull, are you saying all I have to do is Log in everyday? Please let me know

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    3. After you log on, you have to perform a soft pull afterwards. This involves requesting and updating your credit score.

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    4. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    5. Hi again Relentless,

      Thanks for the response.
      For USAA, it says "Refresh Report- included in membership. 1 report every 30 days".
      For Equifax, it says "You have recently ordered Equifax 3-Bureau Credit Report/Scores and is still available. You may view your product, otherwise click Submit Order below to view your updated Equifax 3-Bureau Credit Report and Scores."

      Basically, both USAA and Equ are charging me $25-29 a month for me to do daily soft pulls instead of free trial Equ and $12 a month USAA? I think things changed?

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    6. Hi Unknown,

      I just did some research. It looks like you need to call USAA and ask them to upgrade you to USAA Credit Check Monitoring Premium Unlimited version, which allows you to perform a daily pull or refresh of your credit score. USAA might charge you more have this service enabled, however they are negotiable. Ask them for a better introductory rate or even a free upgrade to test out this service. If you do everything right, you should be able to achieve B* within 1-2 months.

      Please see this thread at creditboards.com for the most updated information (which is constantly changing): http://creditboards.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=427883&hl= (I would start reading towards the last few and most recent posts)

      Good luck!

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  7. thank you so much for such helpful information. thanks to you i was able to B* 5 inquiries in 10days. i have started with 10 inquiries on equifax and with 74 soft pulls since i already had membership with them and have been pulling equifax nearly everyday. But,now it's been three days that i have been pulling the 3 you mentioned above but it does not go up i still show 78 soft pulls for 3 days. and no B* Any idea what happened? why no more inquiries being bumped?did i do anything wrong?

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    1. If you are continuing to perform soft pulls and you aren't removing any inquiries, there is a chance that you may be experiencing C* (choppage). Also, there are certain inquiries that simply cannot be bumped, such as mortgage inquiries.

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  8. the link to EQ B* counter goes to a spyware page now.

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    1. Thank you for the heads up. It looks like the previous EQ B* Counter is no longer working. I have updated this post with the most recent working EQ B* Counter now.

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  9. I tried it as well, and it looks like the previous EQ B* counter is no longer working. Here is a new one I found: http://navitechsolutions.com/EqCounter/.

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  10. I have equifax that i use everyday, i am going to call usaa on monday to get unlimited service, are there any other services besides amex, please let me know asap anybody

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  11. Obtaining good fixing credit report is crucial in the present modern society to acquire having access to things like charge cards, car finance and also mortgage loans.

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