One of the factors that affect your credit score is the number of inquiries you’ve had on your credit report recently. A lot of questions may be running through your mind if you’ve authorized a potential creditor or business to check your credit. You may have questions like “What’s the difference between a soft pull and a hard pull?” or “How many points will my credit score drop if I receive a soft inquiry?”
Soft Inquiries Versus Hard Inquiries
When you apply for new credit such as a mortgage, credit card, or student loan, the lender pulls a copy of your credit report to see how you’ve handled borrowed money in the past and whether there’s any negative information shown on your credit report. This pull is known as a hard inquiry,
A soft inquiry is done for other purposes that don’t involve trying to borrow new money. An insurance company or a potential employer may do a soft pull as part of a background check. Credit card companies may pull your credit without your authorization to see if you qualify for special offers. Pulling your own credit is another example of a soft credit inquiry.
Credit Inquiries and Your Credit Score
A hard inquiry may have a slight impact on your credit score, especially if you’ve tried to open several new accounts at the same time. Each hard inquiry is listed on your credit report and remains on your report for about two years. It’s a good idea to wait three to six months between credit card applications. A soft credit inquiry has no impact on your credit.
Other Factors That Affect Your Credit
Credit inquiries can make up about 10 percent of your credit score based on the FICO scoring model. Even though hard credit inquiries remain on your credit report for two years, FICO only considers inquiries made in the past year.
There are several other factors that affect your credit score. The biggest factor is your payment history, and even one late payment can bring down your credit score. The total amount you owe, particularly the percent of the credit you’re using on revolving accounts is also a big factor in determining your credit score. Other factors are the length of your credit history and your credit mix.
Is Your Credit Report Correct?
A surprising number of people find errors on their credit reports, so it’s important to carefully review what’s on them. If you see hard inquiries you don’t recognize, it could mean that someone is trying to fraudulently open accounts in your name, and you should contact the credit bureau immediately.
Other errors on your credit report should also be disputed promptly, such as incorrect balances, duplicate items, and payments showing late that were paid on time. Dovly is an AI credit engine that can make this process as easy as possible. We start by doing a soft pull, and you let us know what items you’d like to dispute. Then, we’ll contact the credit bureaus for you. Want to learn more? Try it risk-free with our free membership tier.