What’s the difference between "soft and hard" credit inquiries? You may often see credit inquiries referenced as hard or soft inquiries and wonder what that means. Whenever you apply for credit, the lender will pull your credit report(s) and credit score. Lenders use this information to help them decide.
Knowing the difference between a hard and soft inquiry of your credit history can help prevent a sudden drop in your credit score, which can make all the difference if you’re in the market for a car loan, mortgage, looking to lease a new apartment or even applying for a new credit card.
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Not all credit inquiries require the same level of access to your information, and as such, there are two types of inquiries that can be performed – a hard inquiry or a soft inquiry. The former is the more in-depth of the two, and it gets reflected on your credit reports which can impact your credit scores.
Hard inquiries can hurt your score, while soft inquiries don’t make a difference at all. I discuss the differences between hard and soft credit pulls and the situations in which you might.
I allowed the credit check and moved on with the switch. Not only was this a good reminder that sometimes your credit score matters even when you aren’t borrowing, but it was also a good reminder that it helps to understand the difference between a hard credit pull and a soft credit pull.
What is the difference between hard and soft credit checks? Some lenders can give you estimated loan terms or pre-approval based on a soft pull, but require a hard pull if you want to proceed with the application. However, it can sometimes be difficult to determine if even a short application will result in a hard or soft inquiry.
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"Hard" inquiries, the type that occur when you apply for credit, have the potential to negatively impact your credit scores. About 10% of your credit score points are based on the presence or lack of inquiries on your credit reports. "Soft" inquiries, as mentioned above, will never impact your credit scores at all.