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What Is a Soft Credit Inquiry?

What Is a Soft Credit Inquiry?

Soft credit inquiries, otherwise known as soft pulls, are not generated by shopping for credit and do not affect your overall credit scores. For example, a lender sending you a preapproved credit offer without you applying is a soft credit inquiry.

Checking your own credit score is also a soft credit inquiry. Similarly, if you already have a credit card or loan with a lender, they may review your account from time to time. The resulting account review inquiry will not show up when lenders request your reports or scores.

Also, any inquiries generated by an employer or an insurance company to check your credit history are ignored for the purposes of calculating your scores. (Not sure where your credit stands? You can check two of your scores for free on Credit.com. As we have explained, checking your scores will not harm them in any way.)

A soft credit inquiry will generate the same information that a hard credit inquiry would generate including your payment and credit history, debt management, any derogatory marks you may have, and your credit score.

Soft inquiries often typically occur without you even realizing they are happening. If you are unsure of the type of pull or inquiry a company is going to perform on your credit, then you need to make sure to ask them if it will be a hard credit inquiry or a soft credit inquiry.  You can then check with the three credit bureaus to determine if the information you were given regarding the inquiries is accurate.