Any time you apply for credit, the lender has permission to obtain a copy of your credit report from a credit bureau—this is referred to as a credit inquiry. There are two types inquiries: soft and hard inquiries.
An example of a soft inquiry is when you are pulling your own credit report or a potential lender is pulling your report as a part of the initial pre-qualification process. Applying for a new credit card or a credit limit increase, financing a car, or purchasing a home, are all examples of hard inquiries. For processes such as auto purchases, student loans or mortgages, these are typically treated as a single inquiry if done within a short scope of time, such as thirty days.
Be mindful of the amount of new inquiries you are taking on – especially hard inquiries. Hard inquiries have a greater impact if you have a short credit history or a few credit accounts. While one additional credit inquiry can result in a change to your FICO® Score up to five points, this can have an affect over time. While new credit only makes up 10% of your FICO Score, it’s important to know where you stand before jumpstarting your credit-seeking process.
To learn more about ways to enhance your credit health and to learn directly from credit experts, visit www.scoreabetterfuture.com.
I am an official brand ambassador for FICO. While I receive compensation for my participation as a brand ambassador, opinions are mine.