April 6, 2020
COVID-19 Pandemic Makes Connection by Phone, Video, Email Critically Important; Consumers Can Open New Service Accounts for These Services Without Hard Credit Inquiries
Equifax understands the significant impact that the COVID-19 pandemic is having on consumers across the United States. Shelter-in-place orders, curfews and social distancing have made the ability to connect important to most Americans' quality of life. Equifax is now eliminating the need for hard credit inquiries when opening phone service, wireless phone contracts, internet service and pay TV service accounts.
"The connections that we have to each other - the communications that we nurture through phone, video conferencing, email and social networks - are more important than ever," said Ken Ray, telecommunications, energy, insurance and bureau partners leader at Equifax. "Effective today, all wired and wireless phone, internet and pay TV account openings can now be categorized by service providers as a 'soft credit inquiry'. We will automatically classify these new accounts as soft inquiries by June 30, 2020 and will continue to categorize them as such moving forward."
Hard credit inquiries are authorized by consumers when lenders or service providers check their credit to make a lending or account decision. These 'hard pulls' could lower a credit score by a few points. Soft credit inquiries do not impact a consumer's credit score. Instead, 'soft pulls' are records of credit checks that are typically only visible to the consumer, and are not used to calculate credit scores.
"We are committed to helping consumers live their financial best today and in the future," said Dan Parzych, senior vice president of data and analytics, United States Information Solutions (USIS) at Equifax. "As data stewards, we believe that it is important to continuously work with consumers, lenders, regulators and industry stakeholders to support the evolving needs and ongoing health of the full credit ecosystem."