How Long Do Credit Inquiries Stay?

How Long Do Credit Inquiries Stay

Credit inquiries can stay on your credit report for up to two years. But, the good news is that they only impact your score for the first 12 months. So if you’re worried about a recent inquiry dragging down your credit score, you can stop fretting after a year has passed.

 

Inquiries are generated when you apply for new credit and when companies check your credit as part of their business relationship. They appear on your report as a record of that activity.

 

Hand Inquiries

A hard inquiry occurs when you apply for new credit, and a lender accesses your report to help them decide whether or not to approve your application. Hard inquiries can stay on your report for up to two years but only impact your score for the first 12 months.

 

Soft Inquiries

A soft inquiry occurs when a company checks your credit as part of their business relationship with you, but you don’t apply for new credit. Soft inquiries can stay on your report indefinitely, but they have no impact on your credit score.

 

If you’re concerned about the impact of inquiries on your credit score, you can take steps to reduce their number. For example, if you’re shopping around for a loan, try to do all your rate shopping within 14 days. This is known as the rate shopping window, and multiple inquiries within this time frame will count as just one inquiry when they’re added to your credit report.

 

Bottom Line

Inquiries are just one factor that can impact your credit score, so don’t obsess over them. Focus on maintaining good credit habits, like paying your bills on time and keeping your credit card balances low, and you’ll be on your way to a strong credit score.

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