What Does a Credit Pull Do to Your Credit Score?
Your credit score is a vital component of your financial health. It affects your ability to secure loans, obtain credit cards, and even impacts your insurance rates. Therefore, it’s important to understand how certain actions, such as a credit pull, can impact your credit score.
A credit pull, also known as a credit inquiry, occurs when a lender or creditor requests access to your credit report. There are two types of credit pulls: hard inquiries and soft inquiries.
Hard inquiries occur when a potential lender reviews your credit report as part of the loan application process. These inquiries are typically made when you’re applying for credit cards, loans, or mortgages. Hard inquiries can impact your credit score and remain on your credit report for up to two years.
On the other hand, soft inquiries don’t affect your credit score. They occur when you or a creditor checks your credit report as part of a background check, pre-approval offer, or when you check your own credit score. Soft inquiries are visible only to you and don’t impact your creditworthiness.
Now that we understand the basics of credit pulls, let’s address some frequently asked questions about their impact on your credit score:
1. How much does a credit pull affect my credit score?
A hard inquiry typically has a minor impact on your credit score, usually resulting in a drop of a few points. However, the impact may vary depending on your overall credit profile.
2. How long do hard inquiries stay on my credit report?
Hard inquiries remain on your credit report for two years but generally only affect your credit score for the first year. After a year, their impact diminishes.
3. Can I avoid hard inquiries altogether?
Not entirely. Whenever you apply for new credit, a hard inquiry is almost inevitable. However, if you’re rate shopping for a mortgage or auto loan, multiple inquiries within a specific period (such as 14 to 45 days) are treated as a single inquiry, minimizing the impact on your credit score.
4. Do soft inquiries affect my credit score?
No, soft inquiries have no effect on your credit score. You can check your credit score as often as you like without worrying about negative consequences.
5. How many hard inquiries are too many?
While there’s no specific number that’s considered “too many,” multiple hard inquiries in a short period can raise concerns for lenders. It may indicate that you’re seeking credit excessively or experiencing financial difficulties.
6. How long does it take for my credit score to recover from a hard inquiry?
The impact of a hard inquiry on your credit score is relatively short-lived. Your score should recover within a few months, especially if you have a solid credit history.
7. Can I get a hard inquiry removed from my credit report?
Technically, only inaccurate or unauthorized inquiries can be removed. If you find any errors on your credit report, you can dispute them with the credit bureaus. However, legitimate inquiries resulting from credit applications cannot be removed.
Understanding the impact of credit pulls on your credit score is crucial for maintaining good financial health. While hard inquiries may temporarily lower your score, they play a relatively small role in determining your overall creditworthiness. It’s important to focus on responsible credit management and maintaining a positive credit history to keep your score in good standing.