Whenever you do something that requires pulling your credit report, such as applying for a loan, your credit report gets hit with an inquiry. Different credit inquiries can stay on your credit report for different lengths of time.
What is a hard inquiry?
A hard inquiry happens when a financial institution, like a lender or creditor, checks your credit report. Hard inquiries on your credit report can potentially lower your credit score by a few points, but a hard inquiry can’t happen without your express permission.
What is a soft inquiry?
A soft inquiry has less impact on your credit score than a hard inquiry. Soft inquiries may or may not show up on your credit report, depending on the credit bureau. One common misconception is the idea that checking your own credit score on a website will negatively affect it, this isn’t true. You can check your credit score as much as you want without it affecting your score. However, it may still result in a soft inquiry. To be clear, this soft inquiry will not affect your credit whether or not it’s reflected on your credit report.
How long will a hard inquiry stay on your credit report?
A hard inquiry can stay on your credit report for two years. That might seem like a long time, but on the bright side, hard inquiries will only have a negative effect on your credit score for 12 months. The inquiry has no further impact after 12 months, unlike collection & negative accounts which can stay on your credit report for up to seven years.