Will a Soft Credit Check Harm a Credit Score?

Soft Credit Check: Unpacking the Myths and Benefits

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.

Lenders typically perform a soft credit check without the individual’s knowledge, which encompasses:

  • 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.

While hard inquiries can adversely affect a credit score, indicating to lenders a potential high credit risk during credit applications, soft inquiries, on the other hand, stand in contrast. Specifically, lenders don’t factor them into this risk assessment. As mentioned earlier, borrowers don’t initiate these inquiries. Moreover, they happen without the borrower’s knowledge and are usually for informational purposes only.


Soft credit checks, often carried out unnoticed, can bring a wealth of benefits to the consumer. From better credit card offers to more favorable mortgage terms, these non-intrusive inquiries can lead to improved financial options. Unlike their counterpart, hard inquiries, which can potentially lower one’s credit score, soft checks remain a beneficial tool for both lenders and borrowers. Embrace the subtleties of the credit landscape, and let soft inquiries work to your advantage.

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