Explaining a Soft Credit Inquiry

Explaining a Soft Credit Inquiry

What you should know about soft credit pulls.

A soft pull, or soft inquiry, happens when someone checks your credit report, like in the case of a pre-approved credit card offer. Unlike a hard pull, a soft pull does not impact your credit score. Here’s everything you should know about soft pulls and who can do them.

The Basics

A soft inquiry occurs when someone, or a company, checks your credit report. These pulls aren’t anything to worry about. Here are some of the most common examples of soft inquiries:

  • A credit card company pre-approves you for a card.
  • You check your own credit score.
  • A landlord checks your credit score.

Check Your Report

You can see soft inquiries on your credit report, even though they don’t affect your score. To check what inquiries have been made, you’ll need to check your reports from all three credit bureaus.

Tip: Checking your credit reports should be a habit. It’s free and will help ensure accuracy and prevent identity theft. You can also keep your credit score high by catching and reporting incorrect information to the credit bureaus.

Hard Credit Pull

Hard pulls are the inquiries you should keep an eye on. They can stay on your credit report for up to two years and can lower your credit score. Typically, hard inquiries don’t impact your score by much, often just a few points. However, as long as you don’t apply for multiple loans and credit for months straight, the impact of hard pulls is usually not that bad. 

Do One Thing: Check your credit reports at all three bureaus regularly. 

Chris O'Shea

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