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Optimizing Scores

There are two types of credit inquires that might show up on your credit report. One can negatively affect your credit score, and one doesn’t.

  • Soft Inquiry: This type of inquiry will not negatively affect your credit score so you shouldn’t worry about these. Examples of soft inquires are when you check your credit report, an employer pulls your credit report, or when you use a credit monitoring service.
  • Hard Inquiry: This type of inquiry can impact your credit score (but not always). Examples of hard inquires are when you apply for a credit card, a car loan, etc.

The main thing to keep in mind when it comes to credit inquires is that a hard inquiry means you are applying for credit, while a soft inquiry is simply you (or someone else) looking at your credit report for reasons other than loaning you money.

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As a general rule, you should keep hard inquiries under 2 during any given two year period. Hard inquiries fall off your credit report after two years. This basically tells lenders that you aren’t actively looking for a bunch of credit. You may start to see your credit score negatively affected once you hit three or more hard inquires. Having more than two hard inquires won’t kill your credit score, but it will likely take a few points off.