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Hard Vs Soft Pull: How Do They Affect My Credit Score?

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Updated on August 22nd, 2019

Of all the numbers associated with you, your credit score is one of the most important, and for good reason.

If your score is poor or bad or you have none at all, most lenders will either reject it or slap you with a high-interest rate. Landlords can also turn down your rental applications and some employers can deny you a job.

As such, you must strive to maintain good credit. And to do this, you need to know the various factors that affect it. In this article, we focus on hard and soft pulls.

Keep reading to learn more!

1. What Is A Pull?

In the context of credit, a pull is also known as a check. When you are someone else accesses your credit score, that’s a pull.

2. Why Should a Pull Affect Your Credit?

Credit rating systems use a number of signals when computing your credit score. One of these signals is the number of pulls or checks your credit report receives.

Here’s the reasoning behind this:

If you’re financially stable, you might not need to go in for a loan. But if you’re in financial trouble, loans or credit cards can bail you out in the short-term.

So if you apply for multiple loans within a short period of time, your credit report will get multiple hits. This tells the credit rating systems that you’re probably in financial trouble. In this case, you’re a risky borrower.

But if your report got just a single hit, the rating systems would consider this a normal event. In the eyes of the credit rating system, this means you’re not a risky borrower.

3. Hard Pull vs. Soft Pull

A hard pull has a direct impact on your credit score. A soft pull doesn’t.

In most cases, a hard pull occurs when someone needs to make a lending decision. This means you should expect a hard pull every time you’re applying for a loan or credit card. The higher the number of hard pulls, the lower your score will fall.

That said, not all types of lenders do a hard check. In fact, some, like payday lenders, aren’t interested in your credit at all. Check out this cash loan info for more insight into loan applications.

On the other hand, a soft pull occurs when someone needs to know your credit history for purposes other than credit approval. A good example is when you access your credit report just because you want to know your credit score or check it for errors. When a landlord checks your credit score as part of a tenant background check, that’s also a soft pull.

Soft pulls, however many, don’t affect your score in any way.

4. Know What Affects Your Credit Score

As long as you’re a credit-active consumer, your credit report will receive both hard and soft pulls. Now that you know how both pulls affect your score, you’re in a better position to take greater control of your credit.

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