An inquiry is a notation on your credit report that you have requested information about a loan or service. Although inquiries are generally not considered negative marks on your report, they can negatively impact your credit score.
Inquiries are classified as either “hard” or “soft.” Hard inquiries occur when you apply for new credit, such as opening a new credit card or taking out a loan. Soft inquiries happen when you check your credit report or when a company checks your report for purposes other than lending, such as applying for a job.
Hard inquiries can stay on your credit report for up to two years and negatively impact your credit score for up to one year. Soft inquiries affect your score and are not visible to anyone but you.
If you’re concerned about the impact of inquiries on your credit score, there are a few things you can do:
– Check your credit report regularly to ensure that all inquiries are accurate and up-to-date.
– If you find an inaccurate inquiry, dispute it with the credit bureau.
– Limit the number of hard inquiries you have by only applying for new credit when necessary.
– Keep your credit utilization low to offset the impact of inquiries on your score.
Inquiries can impact your credit score, but it’s usually minimal. So, if you’re worried about a few inquiries dragging down your score, don’t be. However, if you have a lot of inquiries in a short period, that could signal to lenders that you’re desperate for cash or may be taking on too much debt. In that case, your score could take a bigger hit.
Don’t obsess over a few inquiries. But if you’re applying for a lot of credit in a short time, be aware that it could impact your score.