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What is the difference between a hard inquiry and a soft inquiry on my credit report?

Curious about Managing credit

What is the difference between a hard inquiry and a soft inquiry on my credit report?

In the context of credit reports, a "hard inquiry" and a "soft inquiry" refer to the type of credit check that is performed when someone requests to view your credit report.

A hard inquiry (or hard credit check) typically occurs when you apply for a new credit account or loan, such as a credit card or mortgage. When you authorize a hard inquiry, the lender or creditor will review your credit report to assess your creditworthiness and determine whether to approve your application. Hard inquiries can negatively impact your credit score, as they indicate that you are seeking new credit and may be taking on additional debt.

On the other hand, a soft inquiry (or soft credit check) typically occurs when you check your own credit report, or when a potential employer, landlord, or creditor performs a background check. Soft inquiries do not affect your credit score and are only visible to you on your credit report, whereas hard inquiries are visible to others who review your credit report, such as lenders and creditors.

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