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The Difference Between A Hard Credit Pull And A Soft Credit Pull

- Mar 28, 2023 credit0 comments

To answer the question, let’s first establish what credit inquiries  are, the different types of them, and whether they affect your credit score or not. 

Credit inquiry

A credit inquiry, aka credit pull, is when someone requests to have your credit report reviewed. 

There are two types of credit inquiries – hard inquiries and soft inquiries. 

What is a hard inquiry?

A hard inquiry is when a creditor has requested to see your credit history, to gain information on your payment history.

When is a hard inquiry made?

A hard inquiry will usually be done when you request a loan from a lender. That can happen when you apply for a loan, credit card, mortgage, or car loan. 

The lender wants to protect themselves from a negligent borrower. By looking at your credit report, they see if you’re on top of paying your credit card bills, auto loans, and the like. 

Hard inquiry affect on your credit score

A question that comes up often is, does a hard inquiry affect my credit score? The short answer is yes and no. 

A hard inquiry will affect your credit score in the short term. It may cause your numbers to drop slightly, right after the hard inquiry is done. The good news is that it won’t remain like that forever. By twelve months after the inquiry, your score won’t be affected anymore.

The more hard inquiries done, the more your credit score will be affected, though. That’s why you should reconsider applying for a few credit cards at a time, as this results in multiple hard inquiries done at one time. The best is that there shouldn’t be more than 5 hard inquiries in 12 months.

How long does a hard inquiry stay on a credit report?

By two years, your hard inquiry should be off your credit report altogether.

Now, what happens if you applied for a few credit cards, knowing you probably won’t be approved for all? Will the credit inquiry still be on your credit report if you get declined? The answer is that yes, the hard inquiry will still be on your credit report. You’re best off applying for cards that you have a fair chance getting approved for. 

What is a soft inquiry?

Now, let’s talk about soft inquiries, aka soft pulls. A soft inquiry is when you check your credit report, or you allow someone to check your credit (like a potential employer). A soft inquiry also occurs when a lender checks your credit report in order to pre-approve you for an offer. 

When is a soft inquiry made?

Soft inquiries are not done in relation to loans. They’ll usually be done by landlords, potential employers, insurance companies, utility companies or for pre-qualified offers. Those pre-qualified credit card offers you get in your mailbox aren’t numbers that are pulled out of a hat. They’re usually based on your score.

Soft credit check affect on your credit score

A soft inquiry won’t affect your credit score, and they can’t be viewed by anybody but yourself. This is a good thing since soft inquiries are constantly being made.

Which Cards Give You A 100% Approval With Only A Soft Pull

What are your greatest hesitations when you apply for a credit card? I think it’s safe to say that the hard credit pull done by the creditors when you apply for a card...

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Frequently asked questions
Can I apply for two Capital One cards in one day with only one hard pull?
Yes. Just keep in mind that Capital One is not likely to approve more than one card in 6 months
Is there any business credit card that only does a soft pull?
If you're an existing Amex customer then Amex will not pull your credit. You can also check out the Divvy card
Where can I see the soft pulls done on my credit report?
You can see it when you order a free copy of your credit report from annualcreditreport.com

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Sam Sam has nearly a decade's worth of experience educating his many readers on everything credit. Sam spends his days checking out credit cards for a full report, from the minute benefit details to the shebang of welcome bonuses. Plus studying the ins and outs of building proper credit. It’s his favorite pastime and he loves sharing it with others.

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