Will a Soft Credit Check Harm a Credit Score?

A soft credit check is when someone looks at your credit, either for informational or promotional purposes, Credit.com explains.

If you’ve ever received a credit card offer in the mail and wondered how they knew you qualified for a certain credit card, chances are that the credit card company did a soft credit check on you.

A soft credit check is usually done without a person’s knowledge and includes:

  • Reviews of a credit score or history by an existing lender with whom the person has an existing line of credit
  • Reviews by potential landlords
  • Reviews of credit for insurance purposes
  • Pre-approved credit offers

Soft inquiries have very few disadvantages. Credit.com lists some of the benefits that come with soft inquiries:

  • A client can get offers for better credit cards.
  • They can get pre-approved for better mortgage loan terms.
  • Regularly checking a credit score can help them maintain or increase it.
  • Landlords who have a strict policy on their tenants can use soft inquiries to differentiate them from other applicants.

Hard inquiries negatively impact a credit score because they indicate high credit risk to lenders when applying for credit. Soft inquiries, on the contrary, are not factored into this risk calculation because, as previously stated, they are not initiated by the borrower, are done without their knowledge, and are made for informational purposes only.

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