How Long Do Hard Inquiries Stay on Your Credit Report?

How Long Do Hard Inquiries Stay on Your Credit Report? Find out the answer here, along with tips for minimizing the impact of hard inquiries on your credit score.

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Hard Inquiries

Hard inquiries will stay on your credit report for two years. However, hard inquiries only impact your credit score for the first 12 months. After 12 months, the hard inquiry will fall off your credit report.

What is a hard inquiry?

A hard inquiry is a type of credit check that occurs when a lender reviews your credit report before making a loan or extending credit. A hard inquiry is also called a hard pull because the lender “pulls” your credit report.

Hard inquiries stay on your credit report for 24 months, but they only impact your score for 12 months. That means you can shop around for a mortgage, an auto loan, or another type of loan within that 12-month period and not worry about damaging your score—as long as you don’t mind having multiple inquiries on your report during that time.

How long do hard inquiries stay on your credit report?

Hard inquiries stay on your credit report for two years, but they only affect your credit score for the first 12 months. So, if you have a hard inquiry on your report that’s more than 12 months old, you don’t need to worry about it affecting your credit score.

Hard inquiries are generated when you apply for a new line of credit and a lender checks your credit report to decide whether or not to approve you. If you’re approved, the hard inquiry will show up on your credit report and will stay there for two years.

Hard inquiries can ding your credit score, but only for a short period of time. After 12 months, hard inquiries fall off your credit report and stop affecting your credit score. So if you have a hard inquiry on your report that’s more than 12 months old, you don’t need to worry about it affecting your credit score.

Soft Inquiries

What are soft inquiries? Soft inquiries are credit checks that do not impact your credit score. They are also called “soft pulls.” Soft inquiries occur when you check your own credit report, when a company checks your credit for pre-screening purposes, or when a business checks your credit as a routine part of doing business with you.

What is a soft inquiry?

A soft inquiry is a type of credit check that doesn’t have a negative impact on your credit score. Soft inquiries can occur when you or a company checks your credit as a background check, like if you’re renting an apartment or applying for a job. Unlike hard inquiries, soft inquiries won’t stay on your credit report for more than two years and won’t affect your credit score.

How long do soft inquiries stay on your credit report?

Soft inquiries, also called soft pulls, do not have a negative impact on your credit score. These inquiries are made when you or a company checks your credit report for non-lending reasons. For example, when you check your own credit report or when a company checks your report for pre-screening purposes. Soft inquiries do not appear on your credit report and cannot be seen by lenders.

Hard inquiries, on the other hand, can have a negative impact on your credit score. A hard inquiry is made when you apply for new credit and a lender requests your complete credit history from one or more of the credit bureaus. When too many hard inquiries are made in a short period of time, it can signal to lenders that you’re in financial distress and may be more likely to default on a loan. For this reason, hard inquiries usually stay on your credit report for 24 months (though they may only affect your score for up to 12 months).

Impact of Inquiries on Your Credit Score

How do inquiries affect your credit score?

Broadly speaking, there are two types of inquiries that can show up on your credit report: hard inquiries and soft inquiries. Hard inquiries are generally made by creditors when you apply for new lines of credit, and these can have a negative impact on your FICO® Scores8. Soft inquiries are generally made when companies check your credit report for non-credit-related purposes, such as when you’re shopping for a loan or insurance, and these don’t have an impact on your FICO Scores.

Inquiries stay on your credit report for two years. But, the good news is, they only affect your FICO® Scores for the first 12 months. So, if you have several inquiries on your report within a short period of time (for example, you apply for several new credit cards in a short period of time), this will only have a short-term effect on your scores. After 12 months, the inquiry will fall off your credit report and won’t affect your scores any longer.

How can you minimize the impact of inquiries on your credit score?

The impact of inquiries on your credit score depends on several factors, including how many inquiries you have and how recently you’ve had them.

Inquiries can stay on your credit report for up to two years, but their impact on your credit score diminishes over time. A single inquiry may only drop your score by a few points, but multiple inquiries could have a bigger impact.

You can minimize the impact of inquiries on your credit score by:
-Asking for rate quotes all at once: When you’re shopping around for a loan or credit card, it’s best to get rate quotes all at once. This way, the lender will only do one hard inquiry on your report instead of multiple inquiries.

-Spreading out your applications: If you’re going to apply for multiple loans or credit cards in a short period of time, spread out your applications so that each one is more than 30 days apart. This will give each inquiry time to fall off your report before the next one appears.

-Testing your credit before applying: Use a service like Credit Sesame to get a free credit score and see where you stand before applying for new loans or credit cards. This way, you’ll know how many inquiries can hurt your score and you can avoid having too many at once.

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