What is the difference between a soft and hard credit inquiry?

There are two kinds of inquiries (or pulls) that can occur on your credit report: “hard” inquiries and “soft” inquiries. While both types of credit inquiries enable a third party, such as you or a lender, to view the information in your credit report, only hard inquiries can negatively affect your credit score.


A soft inquiry typically occurs when a person or company checks your credit report as part of a background check or to make a prescreened offer of credit. A soft inquiry may be recorded in your credit report, depending on the credit bureau, but it does not affect your credit score.  With this auto loan product from Upstart, a soft credit inquiry occurs when you initially request a rate based on your name, address, and date of birth in order to determine your eligibility and your initial rate.


Hard inquiries generally occur when a financial institution, such as a lender or credit card issuer, checks your credit report when making a credit decision. Hard inquiries might lower your credit score, and they may remain on your credit report for up to two years. With this auto loan product from Upstart, a hard pull occurs after you accept your rate and sign your promissory note.

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