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Retiree's Credit Score Dives After Taking Test Drive

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Armond Bradford said he went into a car dealership for a test drive and came out with a lower credit score.

"They deceived me. They lied in my face," Bradford said.

One month after driving off the lot with a 2017 Nissan Versa, Bradford discovered an inquiry from the dealership on his credit report. He says he specifically told them not to pull his credit, but they did, causing his credit score to drop eleven points.

"When I went in there, I said I was pre-approved and there was no need to run my credit," he said.

Bradford said the dealer required him to fill out paperwork before the test drive.

"I provided them with all the information they asked me. They did not make it clear they were going to pull my credit," Bradford said.

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The dealer said Bradford signed a credit application. Bradford says he gave them his social security number. According to credit expert Al Bingham, hard credit pulls can impact your credit score for up to two years.

"If you have 4 or 5 inquiries in the last 12 months, you're going to see a credit score that's 20-30 points lower," Bingham said.

Bingham said Bradford's mistake was giving them his social security number.

"You know, if you don't give your social security number, they can't pull a credit report. They can't," Bingham said.

"Looking in hindsight, it was a mistake," said Bradford. "Because I didn't know."

Branford said the dealer told him they needed that social security number to verify his identity before the test drive.

CREDIT TIP: If your credit is pulled for the same type of loan within a two-week period, our credit expert said it can be bundled, causing a lesser impact on your credit score.

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