Difference Between Hard Credit Inquiries and Small Credit Inquiries: Part 1

Credit inquiries allow lenders and other third parties to see when and where you’ve searched for credit in the past. Two kinds of inquiries that can happen on your credit report are hard inquiries and soft inquiries. Even though lenders can see both kinds of inquiries, hard inquiries can negatively affect your credit score.

What are hard inquiries?

Hard inquiries normally happen when you apply for a loan, credit card or mortgage. These inquiries show up when a financial institution, such as a lender or credit card issuer, checks your credit report when making a lending decision.

These types of inquiries have the potential to lower your credit score by a few points and may remain on your credit report for up to two years. The good news is the effect of hard inquiries decreases or diminishes even before the hard inquiry falls off your credit report. In part 2, we’ll cover soft inquiries.

Skip to content