A soft pull is a type of credit inquiry that doesn’t affect your credit score. Soft pulls are typically used by lenders to check your credit before offering you a loan or line of credit.
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What is a Soft Pull on Credit?
A soft pull on your credit is when a lender checks your credit report but doesn’t leave a hard inquiry. Hard inquiries stay on your report for up to two years and can slightly ding your score, but soft pulls have no effect.
There are a few different types of soft pulls, but the most common is when you check your own credit. When you do a self-check, it’s considered a soft pull because you’re not asking for money.
Other types of soft pulls might happen when you’re shopping for a car or home and lenders are doing a “pre-approval” to see what you qualify for. So if you see multiple hard inquiries on your report in a short period of time, don’t worry — as long as they were pre-approvals, they shouldn’t impact your score.
How Does a Soft Pull on Credit Work?
When you check your credit score, it’s considered a “hard pull” and can slightly lower your score. A soft pull, on the other hand, won’t impact your score.
Here’s how it works: Lenders use information from your credit report to calculate your score. Checking your score is a hard pull because you’re asking the lender to give you that information. When you check your own credit score or when an employer checks your credit as part of a background check, it’s considered a soft pull because you’re not asking for anything from the lender.
Soft pulls can also be done for things like pre-qualifying for a credit card or a loan. In these cases, the lender isn’t actually extending any credit to you, so they don’t need to know your exact score. Instead, they’ll use a soft pull to get an idea of where you stand.
Hard pulls are generally more important than soft pulls because they give lenders an accurate picture of your creditworthiness. However, it’s still good to know how soft pulls work in case you come across them in the future.
What are the Benefits of a Soft Pull on Credit?
A soft credit pull, also called a soft inquiry, is a type of request made by a lender to check your credit report. Soft inquiries are recorded on your report but do not impact your score. They can be made without your permission and do not require you to authorize the inquiry.
Lenders use soft credit pulls as a way to screen potential borrowers without affecting their credit scores. For example, if you are shopping for a car loan, the dealership may do a series of soft credit pulls to find the loan that offers you the best interest rate.
In contrast, a hard credit pull (also called a hard inquiry) is an inquiry that can affect your credit score. Hard inquiries are generated when you apply for new credit and are recorded on your report. They stay on your report for two years but have the most impact on your score in the first year. Too many hard inquiries can lower your score and make it more difficult to qualify for new loans or lines of credit.
How to Get a Soft Pull on Credit?
Most people are familiar with the idea of a “hard pull” on credit, which is when a lender looks at your credit report as part of a loan or credit application. But what is a soft pull on credit?
A soft pull on credit is when a lender checks your credit report for informational purposes only. This could be to give you a pre-approval for a loan, or to see if you qualify for certain benefits like a lower interest rate. A soft pull will not impact your credit score, and you can usually authorize it without issue.
If you’re not sure whether a lender is going to do a hard or soft pull on your credit, it’s always best to ask before you apply. That way, you can be prepared and know what to expect.