What is The Definition of a Soft Inquiry?

A soft inquiry, also known as a soft credit check or soft credit pull, occurs when you or someone you approve examines your credit report (for example, a possible employer). They can also occur when a firm analyzes your credit to preapprove you for a loan, such as a credit card provider or a mortgage lender. As long as they aren’t tied to a specific credit application, soft inquiries don’t affect your credit ratings.

Soft Inquiry: What Is It All About?

Your credit will be checked when you apply for new loans or credit cards that need a hard inquiry from the loan or card issuer. Two years of hard queries will be logged, but their impact on your credit scores is usually negligible and will only persist for a few months at the most. A soft inquiry, on the other hand, occurs when someone analyzes your credit report, but you haven’t applied for any new credit. No influence on your credit ratings because they don’t represent a higher risk. A soft inquiry, for instance, happens when:
  • When you do a credit check
  • Your credit is checked by one of your existing creditors.
  • You submit an application to a creditor for a soft-pull preapproval.
  • Your credit is checked to determine whether you qualify for preapproval offers.
Some applications, such as opening a bank account or renting an apartment, might result in a hard or soft inquiry. In these cases, you might inquire as to whether the firm would do a hard or soft credit check.

Can You See Soft Inquiries on Your Credit Report?

On your credit reports, you can see the soft queries. Every 12 months, you can request a free copy of your credit report from each major credit bureau (Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion) on AnnualCreditReport.com Your credit report may have a separate area for soft inquiries. It might look something like this: Also, keep in mind that your three credit reports may include different queries, as an inquiry is only added to the credit report that was examined. Soft inquiries are not posted to your Equifax or TransUnion credit reports if you check your Experian report, for example.

What Effect Do Soft Inquiries Have on Credit Scores?

By evaluating the information in your credit report, credit scoring algorithms calculate your credit score. Credit scores are unaffected by soft queries. Hard inquiries can stay on your credit reports for up to two years, affecting your credit scores. However, the effect is usually minor, and if no new bad information is submitted to your credit report, your credit score will recover within a few months. When determining your scores, scoring algorithms generally only evaluate hard inquiries from the preceding 12 months. Multiple recent hard inquiries might have a negative impact on your credit score. According to the kind of score, credit scoring algorithms frequently integrate (or “deduplicate”) several queries within a 14- to 45-day period to avoid penalizing clients who are rate-shopping

Should You Be Concerned About Requests for Information?

If you need to create a new account, don’t let the dread of a hard inquiry stop you from applying for credit. In speaking, hard inquiries typically have a little impact on your credit score. Soft inquiries are even less concerning because you may have dozens, if not hundreds, of them on your credit reports and they will have no effect on your credit scores.    

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