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The VW Bus: Sophomore Smash

By afrett | Posted in Uncategorized on Wednesday, May 2nd, 2018 at 4:00 PM


photo credit: Allen Watkin, Flickr

Bands, sports stars, and car brands are all susceptible to the sophomore slump. Can anyone but trivia nuts name Meatloaf’s second album? When’s the last time you thought about Rick Mirer? And let’s not forget, the Fox-body Mustang was a huge gamble that fortunately paid off for enthusiasts everywhere. The Mustang II moved units in spite of its lackluster performance and bland design.

There are, as always, grand exceptions to the rule.

If the Volkswagen Beetle is the company’s most recognizable car, the Type 2 (known as a Kombi, Microbus, or Transporter depending on geography) is a close runner-up. In 1947, Dutch importer Ben Pon drew up a first draft of a spacious, economical people and stuff mover based on the brand new VW Beetle. Engineers ran with it, and the Type 2 was born. It’s a triumphant piece of design. The basic look continued from 1950 to 1979. The original Type 2 was even produced as a NEW VEHICLE until 2013 in Brazil. After a wildly successful VW ad campaign by now legendary firm Doyle Dane Bornbach, counter-culture buyers transformed these pedestrian but cute utility boxes into something of their own social movement. Thanks in part to linking with Westphalia to make camper versions, the Microbus has become synonymous with hippie culture. Ever since, Volkswagen vans of all kinds have been sought after for those seeking to grab a piece of that sweet, sweet van life for themselves. While the Vanagons of the ’80’s and the Eurovans of the ’90’s have their own cult followings, nothing quite entered the American psyche like the original Type 2 Microbus.

Now, spurred on by the success of full electric cars like the Nissan Leaf, Chevrolet Volt, and the entire Tesla line, Volkswagen sees an opportunity to reintroduce some of that sophomore magic with the ID Buzz, an modern electric with its feet (tires?) planted firmly in the past. Set to launch in 2022, the next generation of tradesmen, adventurers, and dreamers will have a worthy mascot once more.

Take a look at the concept in action!


Photo credit: Volkswagen


Video: Fully Charged Show

Valentine’s Day: Fun vs. Forced

By afrett | Posted in Uncategorized on Tuesday, February 6th, 2018 at 8:53 PM


Val·en·tine’s Day
the Christian feast day of St. Valentine and the traditional day for sending a romantic card or gift, especially anonymously, to somebody you love. 

It all makes sense now! I don’t who else remembers this but in elementary school, the teachers would take a day prior to Valentines Day to have the class make cute folders, boxes or envelopes for the super fun and candy filled Valentines Day party. I remember you had a choice as to whether you’d address your cards to your classmate or remain anonymous and then walk around the class room putting one in each of your classmates handmade valentine holder. It was one of the most anticipated days of the school year. There was always one or two cards that were received that remained unknown as to who had a crush on who. Little did we know we were upholding a tradition that was centuries old.

Some people view February 14th as a retail holiday devised by marketers to sell flowers, candy and jewelry… and they have done a good job! The National Retail Federation says Americans will shell out $18.2 billion on the holiday. Even Valentine humbugs can find it in their hearts to have some fun by trying different ways to celebrate the day, whether you’re comfortably coupled or splendidly single, here are a few ideas…

Gather up other singles or take your Honey and go catch a movie! Don’t be disgruntled because you’re single, that day will come that you consult with a significant other about basic decisions so take advantage now! You’re free and clear to do as you please and still have a great time doing it with a group of friends.

Have dinner and great conversation with your group of peeps. It can be a sense of relief having no pressure to act a certain way to impress or the pressure of an awkward goodbye at the end of the evening.

Try new things! New recipes, desserts, restaurants, wineries ect… Be spontaneous and take a day trip to a place you or your spouse haven’t been to. Exploring the unknown is half of the adventure in a relationship. Start small and try something you normally wouldn’t. Even if it’s a disaster, it’ll make a memorable one!

Indulge yourself in a pampered evening. Whether it be a spa day or a bubble bath at home, make it count. You deserve it.

Spread kindness and love around, start an epidemic! Studies have shown that Kindness spreads, let it start with you. Give candy or cards to the people in your life, friends, family, co-workers or even your favorite barista.

These are things that everyone can enjoy, couples, singles or groups of besties.

And for those of us who aren’t alone on this “holiday”, it’s not about how much you spend on the one you love but more the gesture of kindness, love and appreciation. It’s a day to be creative in doing so. Think outside the heart shaped box of chocolates and the color red that coats the grocery stores. The meaning of love can be expressed in so many different ways without breaking the bank. Thank goodness for the internet because you can Google or Pinterest creative and inexpensive ideas that are sure to make your person feel important and loved. Some of the best gifts are the ones that cost the least but come from the heart. BUT chocolate is sort of a staple and chocolate dipped strawberries are pretty amazing too. They’re really easy to make and can be half the fun when making them together. There are so many ways to keep the romance alive in relationships and why not take advantage of a day that is set out to encourage just that. It’s all about taking time out to spend with the one you love and if you don’t have that person yet, maybe it’s a day love might find you!


From Steve Hahns Auto Group



10 Amazing Things Science Says Boosts Productivity

By afrett | Posted in Uncategorized on Tuesday, January 23rd, 2018 at 11:55 PM

Who doesn’t wish there was more time in the day to accomplish more of what we need to get done? A lot of times we run off of coffee or energy drinks with the thinking that if we just had more energy, we could get more done. It’s simply not true. We enjoy the pick-me-up that caffeine gives but it doesn’t mean that our productivity has increased. We tend to go about it all wrong and end up potentially a little unorganized. Work Smarter, Not Harder right?! When you’re juggling 10 things at one time, it might become a little stressful so it’s best to prioritize, make a list, make sure you finish what you start and follow through. Sometimes easier said than done so that’s why there are these helpful tips and hints to help you work to your full potential.

  1. Puppies- Yes, really! A team of Japanese scientists has proven that looking at cute baby animals improves our dexterity and focus when performing tasks.
  2. Plants- Studies show that offices with greenery have more productive employees.
  3. The color Blue- Blue stimulates the brain, aiding concentration and clearing our minds or distracting thoughts. It even decreases your appetite.
  4. Happiness- Smile! Science shows that positive employees are 12%more productive than their unhappier counterparts.
  5. Music- Da-Dahhhh! Scientists have proved that music makes repetitive tasks less boring and also helps you focus.
  6. Dancing- Dancing pumps blood into the brain, improving your cognitive skills.
  7. Napping- Research shows that napping makes you a more productive worker by “resetting” your brain. Zzzzzzzz….
  8. Breaks- Employees who take regular breaks achieve more than their working-through-lunch peers. Time for that coffee!
  9. Chatting- Having a random conversation from time to time actually makes you a better worker. You don’t even have to discuss work matters.
  10. Shorter Work Hours- It might sound counter-intuitive, but the fewer hours you work, the more you get done. Hello six-hour day!

Interesting isn’t it? There’s a few things on this list I’m willing to try. Obviously not all of us sit at a desk to be able to stare at baby animals all day but naps are always doable! And what about incorporating the color blue into your work area and maybe some plants? Some of these just might work! Anyway, whatever helps get the job done right? I’m sure for most of us caffeine is somewhere in this equation. So have a conversation with a co-worker or customer or if you’re home, with the dog, take a quick nap or a quick break to dance and get your blood pumping! See what you can do to increase your productivity and have a successful day!


A Clean Car is a Happy Car!

By afrett | Posted in Uncategorized on Monday, January 15th, 2018 at 10:02 PM

When you’re spending your hard earned money on a vehicle, you want to maintain it and keep it in tip top shape with regular maintenance and oil changes. Nothing worse than putting money into something that is just slowly deteriorating. The mechanics are not the only thing to   worry about though.

Often times during the bad weather seasons, we think to ourselves, “I’ll wait till the weather clears up before I wash the car.” We feel like it’s a waste of money when it’s just going to get dirty so quickly. You’re spending anywhere between $12-$20 per wash just to catch the road grime as soon as you pull out of the car wash. Yes, it’s a vicious cycle and seems never ending but you don’t stop to think about the effects it has on your car’s paint, chrome, undercarriage and tires with all of that gunk resting on your investment.


The effects can be so damaging! The saying “A little dirt won’t hurt!” is absolutely not the case when it comes to your vehicle! Dirt build up can act like sandpaper, wearing down and weakening the paint. The dirt can also mix with rain and other pollutants, etching paint right off. Road salt, snow, and moisture can cause rust on a car, and once rust starts it’s hard to stop. Rust can show up anywhere – under the paint, under the car where there is bare metal, and in nooks and crannies that you didn’t even know existed. The undercarriage of the car is equally important if not more

than the main exterior because the snow and salt gets kicked up underneath and tends to stick and that’s where the corrosion starts. This rotting or corrosion can harm the car’s exhaust and muffler systems, coil springs and the frame of the car. Make sure that you visit a car wash that offers the undercarriage wash!

Don’t forget to keep your headlights clean as well. Using a rubbing compound to take away the foggy coating and make them clear again works wonders. It definitely makes them brighter while driving in the dark. Vehicles can also be taken to a collision shop prior to the winter season to have their vehicles pre-treated with an oil solution under-spray to help fight winter road salt damage. Also consider using a wax to help bead off the rain and snow.

Out With the Old and In With the New!

By afrett | Posted in Uncategorized on Saturday, December 30th, 2017 at 12:26 AM

The new year stands before us, like a chapter in a book, waiting to be written. We can help write that story by setting goals. ~ Melody Beattie

Res·o·lu·tion: a firm decision to do or not to do something

What does a New Years Resolution mean to you? Do you set goals for yourself that are attainable or do you have unrealistic expectations and settle at point of “Good Enough”? Resolutions start off as good intentions but often times, the motivation or determination aren’t there. It’s easy to sit down and make a list of things we should or shouldn’t do to better ourselves but the tricky part is putting action to it. It was a good thought! Losing weight to be healthier would be great, quitting smoking to avoid cancer and have a longer healthier life is fantastic, changing your attitude from negative to positive, spending more time with the ones we love; these are all good resolutions to have but some are definitely easier than others to keep. It can be hard to change bad habits and replace them with good ones. So how bad do you want it? Determination and motivation is key!

It can be hard to find motivation when you’re used to living a certain way. You grow to except things the way they are and keep moving forward. There’s a comfortability in not rocking life’s boat. It’s when we break through that comfortable barrier that we keep ourselves behind, we discover fun things about life and about ourselves. We begin to see a difference in the then and now and it becomes motivation to continue going forward, in turn creating our own determination. You can now wear a certain proudness that others can see and inquire about and then YOU become someone else’s motivation!

New Years Resolutions are made because we see it as motivation to start over or start new with the start of a new year. In a sense, it’s an accountability. You start something at a time that occurs once a year so don’t screw it up! There’s no better time to start something than than the first. 2018 starts on a Monday so even better! I personally, am going to start eating healthier and actually using the gym membership that I’ve been paying monthly for over a year now, roughly 6 months till summer right?

My goal/resolution isn’t about seeing specific numbers but more about staying strong in my decision to do better for myself. Resolutions are often forgotten about or broken but goals are something we can keep striving to achieve.



The Art of Gift Giving

By afrett | Posted in Uncategorized on Monday, December 18th, 2017 at 6:49 PM

Over the years we’ve seen gift trends come and go. Each year there’s a hot item that is a must have on everyone’s Christmas list. In the 90’s it was Game Boy Color, Tamagotchi, Pokemon cards, Pogs and who doesn’t remember the Tickle Me Elmo CRAZE. In the 2000’s it was Bratz Dollz, Robosapien, PS3, Apple iPod, Wii and Xbox. In the later 2000’s, it’s safe to say that electronics and the latest and greatest video game consoles have taken the lead in adolescence as well as adults. Coming in as a close 2nd to electronics are the accessories for them, such as extra battery packs, expandable memory, extra controllers and the latest little genius invention is called the Popsocket. It clings to the back of your phone, iPod or for larger devices you can use two; one on each end. It acts as a kickstand for your phone when watching videos or a way of anchoring it to your hand when placing it between your fingers making it easier to use one hand to operate your device. They’ve got fun colors and patterns and are priced around $9.99. AND are on most youth’s Christmas list last year and now this year as well. If you are a black Friday shopper, it makes it a little easier to find these items and more at pretty amazing prices but of course with a price to pay. Waking up early, fighting crowds, waiting in lines that can sometimes circle the store and people trying your patience in those unworldly hours of the morning. But hey, in the end you’ll pay about $75 less for that new Xbox your kids are dying for or $5 less for that $10 fuzzy throw blanket that Grandma might like. And if you’re anything like me, you leave with way more than intended, mostly impulse buys because when are you going to see it that cheap again?! Ok, back to the art of gift giving… I try and stick to what’s on the Christmas list but it’s always fun to throw in the element of surprise and give something that even they didn’t expect but will absolutely love. It’s also an art to keep the reason behind the season, gift giving and receiving. The best feeling is genuine appreciation and love spread with a simple gift. The time spent with family and friends with memories being made and traditions upheld and new ones being created are all priceless. With that being said, expensive or not, it’s the love behind it. We take the time to think of the perfect gift for the person, set out to purchase and wrap it up for presentation. The thought and time behind gifts often mean more than the gift itself. When my kids were small they improvised and had handmade crafts wrapped up tight with a half roll of tape and 2 rolls of paper! It may have taken half the morning to unwrap such a small and delicate gift but in the end was so worth it. These are still some of the most cherished gifts tucked away in my jewelry box. The looks on their face when their gifts were received was priceless. Just as if they were the ones receiving it, they were full of excitement and joy. It’s by far my favorite time of the year as it takes time to prepare and plan out the gifts and festivities. It seems to help make the holiday season last longer.


May you and you family have a very Merry Christmas from our family here at Steve Hahn’s!

Steve Hahn’s Toys for Tots

By afrett | Posted in Uncategorized on Monday, December 11th, 2017 at 10:38 PM

The Marine Toys for Tots is a foundation in which the goal is to deliver, through a new toy at Christmas, a message of hope to less fortunate youngsters that will assist them into becoming responsible, productive, patriotic citizens. It is ranked as one of the top rated charities since 2001. The Marine Toys for Tots Program collected and distributed 18 million toys to 7 million less fortunate children in this past year allowing them to experience the joy of Christmas and receive a message of hope that otherwise would not have been there.

On Friday December 8th we hosted the Marine Toys for Tots toy drive here at Steve Hahn’s. This is an annual event that we couldn’t be happier participating in. A large group of employees gathered here decked out in Christmas attire at 6am and brought their Christmas cheer. We had Santa, Mrs. Claus and our employees posing as elves and Santa’s helpers to encourage the spirit of giving! We also had a special guest show up, Mrs. Donut Hole from Krispy Kreme! They donated several dozen donuts and carafes of coffee and hot cocoa for this event.

KIT 1280’s Dave and Lance were there interviewing guests and people who donated as well as Steve Hahn. They were playing Christmas music intermittently between interviews and enjoying the festivities. Yakima Mayor Kathy Coffey stopped by with her donations. We even had children bringing gifts in before school as well as people stopping in before work to drop off gifts and monetary donations.

With so much support and people donating their time and money to make this happen, it was a huge success. This years gathering brought in over $1000 in monetary donations and over 500 toys. If you missed the event, that’s no problem. You are still to make toy or monetary donations by dropping by Steve Hahn’s at 1st and Mead. All Donations will be collected by the Marines just before Christmas Eve. We are so thankful for this community and their generosity.

Steve Hahn’s Second Annual Trunk or Treat!

By afrett | Posted in Uncategorized on Monday, November 6th, 2017 at 10:21 PM

This year’s  Second Annual Trunk or Treat was a huge success. There were 82 decorated trunks on the lot and roughly 7,800 parents and children in attendance. We were so pleased with the amount of businesses that were willing to participate in some way shape or form as there were over 100 willing businesses.

Whether they were vendors with trunks or they simply made a donation to the event, there was a ton of generosity shown. From the hand sanitizer stations, portable bathrooms, barrier fencing, standing propane heaters and a tons of donated pumpkins, candy and hay bales, and our own employee’s time, it was smooth sailing.

This year’s goal was to raise money to go towards the First Responders of Yakima. We asked each business to donate $50 to raise money for the First Responders of Yakima, on top of decorating a trunk full of candy. Almost an admission of sort, however not a stipulation to be able to participate.

All were willing and a few that were not able to be a trunk vendor still gave the donation and that’s where the other donated items came into play. So many people were willing to help out in some way to provide to the community event.

A major goal of Steve Hahn’s was to be able to provide the community with a safe and fun environment. Parents are more at ease bringing their children to an event like this and not worrying about the dangers of walking in the dark or receiving questionable candy from strangers. Having raised his children and now having grandkids, Steve understands the importance of keeping our kiddos safe.

We were able to provide a completely enclosed event with one entrance and one exit. We had police officers volunteering their time to be at the event also.

We managed to host an unforgettable event that was complete with face painting, a costume contest for children and adults, a dance contest, photo backdrop/selfie stage, a huge HAUNTED HOUSE and not to mention TONS of candy! The looks on the children’s faces were priceless and we’ve got the pictures to prove it.

The participation on our staff’s behalf was pretty great as well. From witches, to Wednesday Adams, Katniss Everdeen and clowns, we had a variety of fun costumes worn by our staff. There were so many awesome and creative costumes that came through.

We had an adorable 3 year Transformer, a set of Washer and Dryer sisters, die hard 2 year old dancing twin Fairies, Princesses, super Heroes and Villains.

However the costume contest winners for both child and adult prizes went to a family who hand made their Alice in Wonderland costumes. The adults received prizes donated to us from Hendo’s Accessories, Bale Breaker and the Yakima Steak Company and the child’s costume contest winner received a birthday party package for 10 donated to us from Get Air!

We would like to thank everyone including Bear event services, Imperial’s Garden, Get Air, Hendo’s and the people at the Washington State Fair Grounds and I’m sure there’s many more for coming out and being a part of this year’s Trunk or Treat. Thank you for your amazing donations of cash, prizes, borrowed items and to Hanson’s Fruit warehouse for allowing us to store our entire inventory in your back lot for 24 hours. 

A HUGE thank you to Miss Kelly West for being an amazing DJ and providing the services and items that you brought to make the event all the more LOUD and exciting! AND last but not least, thank you to the First Responders of Yakima for protecting our city and donating your time at this event. We are very pleased to say that this event raised over $3,500.00 that will be presented to the First Responders!

The goal is to be bigger and better with every year, so with that being said…We’ll see you all in 2018 for our Third Annual Trunk or Treat!

Tis the Season for Pumkin Spice!

By afrett | Posted in Uncategorized on Wednesday, October 4th, 2017 at 7:49 PM
Goodbye summer welcome fall where it is pumpkin spice everything everywhere!
It’s time to accept the fact that pumpkin spice flavored EVERYTHING is now a way of life, at least for the foreseeable future. Fall is here and the pumpkin spice products are coming at you. Good Bye, iced coffee — hello, pumpkin-flavored lattes, donuts, Oreos, you name it.
How many products do you think there are with pumpkin spice?
We better start with the Starbucks pumpkin spice latte because it’s probably the most popular and most anticipated each year.
 Now let’s take a look at a few others. You can be the judge on these products. Pumpkin Spice Pringles, Extra Pumpkin Spice gum, your breath can now be “PumpSpi” fresh.
Muscle Egg Pumpkin Spice flavored protein drink! Yes this is real!
Pumpkin Spice harvest pumpkin tortilla chips! Hum…how can you eat those with salsa? Nestle toll house Pumpkin Spice flavored Morsels with cinnamon and spices! Ok, maybe… Pumpkin Spice Oreos! Did they really just ruin Oreos? Natures Baker fig bar! Yes figs! Pumpkin Spice Milk! Maybe you can dunk your Oreos in it? Silk (soy milk product) Pumpkin Spice! We don’t wanna leave out the Vegans and lactose intolerant! Pumpkin Spice candy corns! The original candy corn wasn’t good enough? Pumpkin Spice fettuccini! I’m sorry what? This is definitely crossing the line. Archer farms Pumpkin Spice Monster trail mix! Made with Pumpkin Spice M&M’s! Greek non fat yogurt Pumpkin! Nope! Planters Pumpkin Spice Almonds! To each his own I guess! Kraft Jet Puffed Pumpkin Spice Marshmallows! Do you want some pumpkin with your S’more’s or maybe cocoa? Pumpkin Spice Cheerios! How do you think your cholesterol is now? Ok this list could go on and on but I’ll spare you from boredom and a possible stomach ache
from thinking about things like pumpkin fettuccini.
What is Pumpkin Spice anyways? It’s basically a mixture of spices with a little orange dye because there really isn’t a pumpkin flavor. Those spices consist of ground cinnamon, ground ginger, ground nutmeg or mace, ground cloves and ground allspice. I personally like to take those same spices and add it to my banana bread, cinnamon apple bread and sometimes even cookies. BUT I’m talking about maybe a dash for a favor booster, not intending for it to be the only thing you’re tasting like the Pumpkin Spiced products as I mentioned.
So there you have it when those people in their marketing meetings say “Who cares what it-is slap a pumpkin spice label on there and people will buy it”. Are they taking about you? Pumpkin Spice hysteria is here to stay at least until snow falls then it’s all about hot cocoa and cider. It’s officially fall, have a slice of Pumpkin pie like a normal person!

The Importance of Credit

By afrett | Posted in Uncategorized on Monday, September 18th, 2017 at 6:29 PM

Are you looking for a new vehicle? Would you love to get into your dream vehicle? Then let’s talk a little bit about credit! Making an investment into your  future on a new vehicle often brings up the question of credit! In light of the recent Equifax breach that lasted from mid-May through July. Hackers were able to accessed people’s names, Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses and, in some instances, driver’s license numbers. Go to to check whether you are one of the 143 million people whose data may have been compromised.

What are credit scores versus credit reports and how do these two things play a part in your future? These three little words you’ll probably hear time and time again as you approach major financial milestones in life: “You need credit.” Interested in a credit card so you don’t have to carry around a lot of cash? “You need credit.” Looking to buy a car? “You need credit.” Want to own a house? “You need credit.” And, while most people probably have a base understanding of what that means — you’ll need to borrow money, of course — they may not understand the ins and outs of credit and why their credit reports and credit scores are so important. Well, we’re here to break it all down.

What Is Credit? Simply put, when you pay “by credit,” you are borrowing the money you need to make purchases. In exchange for that financing, you generally agree to pay the lender back the amount you spend or borrow, plus interest. Here are a few of the most common ways we use credit:

– You are using credit when you make purchases with a credit card or charge card at a retailer and pay your credit card or charge card bill later.

-You are using credit when you borrow money to buy a home or car and pay back the amount you borrow, plus interest, in monthly payments to the lender.

-You are using credit when you take out a personal loan to consolidate debt.

While all of these examples involve using credit, their borrowing terms aren’t exactly the same. Here is a closer look at three major types of credit accounts.

  1. Revolving Credit:  With a revolving credit account, you are not required to pay the bill in full each month. A revolving account enables you to revolve the spending that you make from month to month. You are charged for the money you borrowed to make purchases you didn’t pay back in full, plus finance charges for rolling over the debt from month to month. Credit cards are revolving credit accounts: You are given a credit limit for your spending, but you are only required to pay the minimum back at the end of the month. If you carry a balance, you will pay interest. If you pay that balance down, the credit that you were using will become available to you again.
  2. Charge Cards: Charge cards are similar to credit cards, in that you borrow money (up to a pre-set credit limit) to make the purchases and pay a bill to your lender or creditor later. The key difference is that with a charge card you must pay the account in full each month.
  3. Installment Loans: These loans have a fixed number of payments over a fixed number of months at a set interest rate. With an installment loan, you borrow a certain dollar amount from a lender and agree to pay the loan back, plus interest, in a series of monthly payments. Auto loans, mortgages, student loans and home equity loans are all examples of installment loans.


Do the Types of Credit Matter? Yes, for two major reasons. First, it’s important to know what you’re signing yourself up for. You’ll want to understand the terms and conditions of each loan you apply for. You’ll want to pay particular attention to how that loan is to be repaid, since payment history is the most important factor among credit scores. Speaking of credit scores, it’s important to have a mix of revolving accounts and installment accounts on your credit reports in order to show creditors that you can handle both types of credit. The types of accounts in your credit file make up 10% of your credit score. You can learn more about what goes into your credit score by doing a little research.

What Is My Credit? There’s a good chance you’ve been asked, “How’s your credit?” at some point in time. And, while the answer technically involves the money you’re borrowing and all your different credit lines, the inquisitor is most likely referencing the information on your credit report. Your credit report is a complete compilation of all the loans your currently have or have had in the past. They’re compiled by the credit reporting agencies, and are used primarily by lenders to assess the likelihood that you’ll pay back the money you’re asking to borrow as agreed. Your credit reports are also used when a lender wants to calculate your credit score. That score can determine whether you get a loan and, if so, what interest rate you’ll be offered.

Why Is Credit Important? In addition to affecting your ability to secure affordable financing for all those major milestones we mentioned, your credit report and/or credit scores are also pulled by service providers, like insurers and cell phone companies, landlords, and even employers — meaning, subsequently, that information can affect the price you pay for a service, the ability to rent a home or even secure certain jobs. Basically, credit permeates all aspects of your life, so it’s important to know where you stand. Luckily, federal law entitles you to one free credit report with each major consumer credit reporting agencie a year. You can request these reports at, and you can also contact each of the three credit bureau’s separately and request your free credit report. Those three bureau’s are — Experian, TransUnion and Equifax.

What Is a Good Credit Score? The answer to this question is a little complex since there are many different credit scores out there. Most scoring models,   however, utilize a range between 300 and 850. The higher your score, the better, but you don’t need to be perfect to have good credit. Scores between 700 and 749 are generally considered good, while scores of 750 or higher are considered excellent. You may have heard that credit inquiries can hurt your credit score. But you may not be sure what that means — what is a basic inquiry, a soft inquiry or a hard inquiry? An inquiry is created when your credit report is accessed by a business. Let’s say you apply for a car loan, and the lender requests your credit report and score from Experian. The fact that your credit information was used by a particular company will be noted on your Experian report with the date, name of the company that requested it and the type of inquiry.

Before we get into the specifics of how inquiries work, it’s important to put them in perspective. Unless you have been shopping heavily for credit (more on that in a moment), they shouldn’t have a huge impact on your credit scores. New credit, which includes inquiries as well as new credit accounts, makes up just 10% of yoru FICO score. As a result, a single inquiry is likely to drop your score by less than five points, but only if it’s a hard inquiry and with the limits described below. While inquiries remain on your credit reports for two years, only those within the past year count, at least with the majority of score models used these days. Older ones are ignored. Hard inquiries can affect your credit scores. They show you’ve applied somewhere to get credit, whether that’s a car loan, mortgage, student loan or credit card. Each of these credit checks counts as an inquiry and indicate a lender has reviewed your credit because you’ve applied to borrow from them. Hard inquiries are created when you apply for credit. They can potentially drop your credit score which can result in higher interest rates when you borrow. On large loans, like those for a car or home, a drop of even a few points can mean a higher interest rate. And that may mean you’ll pay more over the life of the loan. Soft inquiries aren’t generated by shopping for credit and do not affect your scores. For example a lender sending you a preapproved credit offer without you applying is a soft inquiry. Checking your own credit score is also a soft inquiry. Similarly, if you already have a credit card or loan with a lender, they may review your account from time to time. The resulting account review inquiry will not show up when lenders request your reports or scores. As an aside, inquiries generated by an employer or an insurance company are ignored for the purposes of calculating your scores.

How Can I Keep My Credit Scores From Dropping? There are several ways to minimize the likelihood that your scores will drop due to hard inquiries. Here are a couple of them:

Shop Around

Looking for a mortgage, car loan or student loan. It’s a good idea to limit your shopping to a two-week period.. If you do, it’s likely those applications will only count as a single inquiry. That’s because most scoring models count all inquiries of one of those types as one, provided they take place within a 14- or 45-day period (depending on the model being used).

Monitor Your Credit

It’s wise to check your credit report and credit scores before you shop for credit. Then do your homework and try to apply for loans for which you are likely to qualify. If you review your credit reports and see an inquiry listed but don’t recognize the name of the company, make sure it’s not a promotional inquiry. If it is, you were probably sent an offer for preapproved credit, and have nothing to worry about. (You can opt out of preapproved offers on the Federal Trade Commission website.) If that’s not the case, the contact information for that company should be listed on your report so you can get in touch. If that information isn’t provided, be sure to ask the credit reporting agency for it.

One in Five Americans Are Shocked to Find Errors on Their Credit Report

Credit report mistakes can lead to disqualification for mortgages and car loans, as well as increased insurance premiums and interest rates. In some cases, those mistakes can even prevent you from getting a job. Some consumers have started enlisting law firms to dispute negative items on their credit reports. Although I personally do not endorse one law firm over another you can research different ones and make appointments to learn about the strategies they can use to help you fix your credit if possible.

Getting to the point

There is so much more that a person can learn about their credit, what it is and how it can affect your life and future. It’s important that you do your own research for yourself on how you can establish credit, build your credit, keep good credit, protect yourself, repair your credit and make sure you as the consumer are aware of all the ways your credit and credit score can lead you on a path to a bright credit future!