How Much Does Pulling My Credit Really Hurt?
Lenders use your credit score and credit report to determine your ability to repay loans. When lenders access your full credit report, it’s called a "hard pull" or "hard inquiry." Your credit report details your credit standing and is used to determine interest rates and approve or deny loan applications. You must give your permission for this type of inquiry, which is a normal part of the loan application process. Typically, when you hit the "Apply now" button on any loan application or permit your application to be submitted, a hard inquiry is made.
Each hard pull is recorded in your credit report for up to two years. Too many hard pulls can cause your credit score to drop.
Alternatively, a "soft pull" is when a business or lender checks your credit score, normally to generate a pre-approval or pre-qualification for an offer. Most of these types of inquiries are done as part of a solicitation or campaign by a lender to generate business. Typically, these types of inquires only show your score or a range of scores. The full credit report, complete with current and past account information is requested if you respond to the offer and elect to complete a full application. A lender requesting credit score in this way will not negatively impact your credit regardless of how often it occurs.
When does a hard pull take place?
Hard pulls occur when you apply for:
- New loans
- Car loans
- Personal loans
- Student loans
- New lines of credit and credit cards
- House or apartment leases