Do soft inquiries affect your credit score?

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A “soft inquiry” on a credit report

It is also known as “soft pulls” or “soft checks,” doesn’t impact your credit score. Soft inquiries happen in various situations and do soft inquiries affect your credit?

  1. Checking your own credit report: Soft inquiries from self-checks don’t affect your credit score.
  2. Lenders or creditors pre-approval checks: Creditors might check your credit during pre-approval without affecting your score.
  3. Employers or landlords credit checks: Soft inquiries occur when employers or landlords review your credit for background checks or rental applications.
  4. Creditors or lenders account reviews: Existing creditors may periodically review your credit for account management without affecting your score.


Soft Inquiries:
  • Impact on Credit Score: None; self-checks and background checks don’t affect your score.
  • Visibility: Only visible to you, not to potential lenders.
  • Frequency: No limit; their frequency is generally not a concern.
Hard Inquiries:
  • Impact on Credit Score: Can slightly lower your credit score, typically by a few points.
  • Visibility: Visible to anyone performing a credit check, including potential lenders.
  • Duration and Frequency: Stay on your credit report for up to two years.

Hard inquiries require your explicit consent when actively applying for new credit.

While hard inquiries have a temporary negative impact on your credit score, signaling an active pursuit of new credit, soft inquiries don’t affect your credit score. Regardless of frequency, they are only visible to you.

Frequent self-checks are fine and a good practice for monitoring credit health. Additionally, pre-approvals from credit card companies are soft inquiries that don’t impact your credit score. Account reviews by existing creditors and credit checks for employment or rental applications are also soft inquiries and don’t affect your credit score.

  • Soft Inquiries: No credit score impact, not visible to lenders, used for background checks.
  • Hard Inquiries: Slight credit score decrease, visible to lenders, associated with new credit applications.