- What is a Credit Check?
- How Long Does a Credit Check Take?
- How Long Does a Hard Credit Check Take?
- How Long Does a Soft Credit Check Take?
- How to Check Your Credit Score
- How to Improve Your Credit Score
Credit checks are an important part of the loan process, but they can also be a mystery. This blog post will help clear up some of the confusion and answer the question, “How long does a credit check take?”
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What is a Credit Check?
A credit check is when a potential lender checks your credit history to see if you’re a good candidate for a loan. This is also known as a hard inquiry. A credit check will look at your credit history, including your credit score, to decide if you’re a good risk for the lender. A good credit score means you’re a low-risk borrower, which can lead to a lower interest rate on your loan.
What is a Hard Credit Check?
A hard credit check is when a lender asks for your permission to review your credit report. Hard inquiries can stay on your report for up to two years, but they typically only affect your score for the first 12 months. Hard inquiries are often generated by lenders or creditors when you apply for a new loan, credit card, or service.
For most people, one additional hard inquiry won’t have much of an impact on their credit scores. However, if you have several inquiries in a short period of time (often indicating that you’re shopping around for financing), it could cause your scores to drop slightly.
If you’re concerned about the impact of hard inquiries on your credit scores, you can take steps to limit the number of inquiries made against your report. For example, you can ask potential lenders to pull your credit reports in advance so that you can see which ones are likely to generate a hard inquiry. Additionally, if you have a good relationship with your current lender, you may be able to negotiate for them to not pull your credit as part of the loan process.
What is a Soft Credit Check?
A soft credit check is a type of credit inquiry that does not impact your credit score. Soft inquiries may be generated when you check your own credit, when an employer checks your credit as part of a background check, or when a business checks your credit in order to pre-qualify you for a credit card or loan offer. Unlike hard inquiries, soft inquiries will not be visible to anyone other than you.
How Long Does a Credit Check Take?
A credit check is a procedure that lenders use to determine an applicants creditworthiness. A credit check is important because it allows lenders to gauge how likely an applicant is to repay a loan. Credit checks usually take place when an applicant applies for a loan, credit card, or other form of credit.
How Long Does a Hard Credit Check Take?
A hard credit check, also called a hard pull, can take up to two weeks to show up on your credit report—and you can only get it by applying for a loan or credit card.
How Long Does a Soft Credit Check Take?
A soft credit check is a type of credit inquiry that doesn’t affect your credit score. Soft inquiries may be initiated by companies for non-lending purposes, like when you check your own credit score or when employers check your credit as part of a background check. You’ll also see soft inquiries on your own credit report if you request a copy of your report from one of the three credit bureaus.
Hard inquiries are inquiries made by companies that are considering lending you money, like when you apply for a credit card or loan. Hard inquiries can stay on your credit report for up to two years, but they only impact your score for the first year.
So, how long does a soft credit check take? And how long does a hard inquiry stay on your report? We’ve got the answers.
Most soft inquiries are completed instantly and don’t require human interaction. That means once you give a company permission to check your credit, the entire process is usually completed within seconds to minutes.
You may see some variation in timing depending on the type of soft inquiry and which bureau they pull from—Experian reports tend to update the quickest, while TransUnion and Equifax may take slightly longer—but in general, expect instant results.
How to Check Your Credit Score
Checking your credit score is a good way to get an idea of where you stand financially. A credit check will give you an idea of your creditworthiness and help you to understand what kind of shape your credit is in. There are a few different ways to check your credit score, so let’s take a look at how to do it.
How to Check Your Credit Score for Free
There are a few ways to check your credit score for free. Luckily, some of the biggest names in the financial space now offer free credit scores with no strings attached. Websites like Credit Karma and Credit Sesame give you your TransUnion and Equifax scores for free, and they don’t even require you to input your credit card information.
Another way to check your credit score is by signing up for a free trial of a credit monitoring service like Identity Guard or Experian. These trials typically last seven to 30 days, and they give you full access to the credit monitoring service’s features, including your credit score. Just remember to cancel before the trial period ends, or you’ll be charged for the service.
If you have a credit card from Discover, Chase, Barclaycard or Citi, you can also check your FICO score for free on their websites. And if you have a Wells Fargo credit card, you can see your FICO score on your monthly statement.
If you want to see all three of your scores from TransUnion, Equifax and Experian, you can do so by buying them from myFICO for $19.95 each. Or you can get all three scores plus some other features in a package deal from Credit Sesame for $17.95 per month or Identity Guard for $24.99 per month.
How to Check Your Credit Score Online
There are a few different ways that you can check your credit score online. One way is to use a credit monitoring service, such as Credit Karma or Experian. These services will give you your credit score for free, as well as updates whenever your score changes.
Another way to check your credit score is to use a Credit Reporting Agency, such as TransUnion or Equifax. These agencies will charge you a small fee to access your report, but they will also provide you with more detailed information about your credit history.
You can also check your credit score by requesting a copy of your credit report from the three major credit reporting agencies. This will give you the most accurate picture of your credit history, but it can take up to 30 days to receive your report.
How to Improve Your Credit Score
Credit checks are an important part of the loan process, but they can also be a source of stress for borrowers. A credit check is when a lender accesses your credit report to determine your creditworthiness. This information is then used to decide whether or not to approve your loan. Credit checks can take a few days to complete, but there are a few things you can do to speed up the process.
How to Improve Your Credit Score Fast
There are a few things you can do to improve your credit score fast, such as paying down high balances, disputing errors on your credit report, and limiting new credit inquiries. Taking these steps can help you see results in as little as 30 days.
Paying down high balances is one of the most effective ways to improve your credit score. Credit scoring models typically give more weight to your credit utilization ratio — the amount of debt you owe compared to your credit limit — so reducing your balances can help increase your score. You can also dispute errors on your credit report, which can drag down your score even if they’re minor. And finally, limiting new credit inquiries can also help improve your score over time.
How to Improve Your Credit Score by 100 Points
It can take months or even years to improve your credit score by 100 points, but it can be done. Here are a few things you can do to improve your credit score:
-Pay Your Bills on Time: This is the single most important factor in your credit score. Payment history makes up 35% of your FICO® Score, so paying all your bills on time, every time, is crucial to maintaining a good credit score.
-Keep Balances Low on Credit Cards and Other revolving Credit: Revolving credit accounts for 30% of your FICO® Score. To keep your score high, keep balances low relative to their credit limits. This is especially important on cards with high limits, such as department store cards.
-Apply for and Open New Credit Accounts Only as Needed: 10% of your FICO® Score is based on the number of new credit accounts you have and the proportion of new accounts to old accounts. Opening too many new accounts in a short period of time can lower your score. Applying for credit only when you need it will help keep your score high.
-Don’t Close Unused Credit Cards as a Short-Term Strategy to Raise Your Scores: 15% of your FICO® Score is based on the length of your credit history. As you establish a good payment history, the positive impact on your scores will increase over time. So, closing unused cards as a short-term strategy could actually hurt your scores in the long run by shortenening the average length of your credit history.