Soft Credit Inquiry Basics

Soft Credit Inquiry Basics

What to know about soft credit inquiries.

Soft credit inquiries — also known as soft pulls — are mostly harmless. Unlike hard credit inquiries, which can ding your credit score, soft pulls do not impact your score at all. However, as soft pulls are related to your credit, it’s a good idea to understand them. Here’s a breakdown.

What is a Soft Pull?

Soft pulls occur when you, or someone you authorize, review your credit report. The most common instances are:

  • A mortgage lender pulls your report to pre-approve you for a loan.
  • A potential employer might also do a soft inquiry before hiring you.
  • A credit card company reviews your report for a card pre-approval offer.

The Impact of a Soft Pull

Soft inquiries are listed on your credit report, but they have no impact on your score.

Hard pulls, on the other hand, can ding your score. Usually, the impact isn’t that heavy and your score springs back within a few months. The one thing you don’t want to do is have several hard inquiries over a short period of time.

Hard Pull Exemption

If you are rate shopping for a mortgage, the bureaus have this process baked into pulls. Credit scoring companies may combine hard pulls made within a 30 – 45 day window. That way you won’t get hit too hard by the multiple inquiries. 

Do One Thing: Monitor your credit reports regularly so that you find any incorrect information that could harm your score.

Chris O'Shea

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