A soft pull, AKA a soft inquiry or soft credit check, is when you or someone you’ve authorized checks your credit report. They can also occur when a company (credit card issuer or mortgage lender) checks your credit for pre-approval. They don’t impact your credit scores because they aren’t attached to any specific application for credit.
1. How Does a Soft Pull Work?
A soft inquiry occurs if someone checks your credit report but you didn't submit a new application for credit, unlike a hard inquiry which occurs with a submitted application. Hard pulls stay on your credit report for two years, whereas soft pulls don’t impact your credit scores at all. A soft inquiry occurs when:
- You check your own credit.
- One of your current creditors checks your credit.
- You apply for a soft-pull pre approval with a creditor.
- A company checks your credit to see if you qualify for pre approval offers.
If you're considering opening a bank account or renting an apartment for example, you can always ask the company you're working with if they will use a hard or soft pull to check your credit.
2. Can You View Soft Pulls on Your Credit Report?
Yes. You can also request free copies of your credit report for each of the major bureaus, Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion. Make sure to request one from each bureau as they could have different inquiries noted.
3. Should You Be Worried About Inquiries?
Multiple recent hard inquiries can do damage to your credit scores, but they only play a minor role in your score. It shouldn't keep you from applying for credit when you find yourself needing to open a new account.
Soft enquiries are even less alarming because they don’t impact your credit score at all. You can have dozens of soft pulls without having to worry about credit score damage.