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All About Credit Inquiries and How They Affect Your Credit

January 5th, 2024 8:03 PM by Austin Howland

What are Credit Inquiries & How do They Affect my Credit?

Person reviewing credit report

Deciphering Credit Inquiries: What You Need to Know

In the world of credit reports, inquiries often mystify many of us. They appear seemingly out of nowhere, leaving us uncertain about their origin and duration. No, we’re not discussing unexpected visits from in-laws; it’s the inquiries on our credit reports that puzzle us. Understanding inquiries is crucial as they stand as one of the most perplexing and least grasped elements in the credit reporting system. Let’s dive into the details of inquiries and how you can effectively manage them:

What exactly are inquiries?

Inquiries signify instances when someone checks your credit information. They’re categorized into two types: ‘hard inquiries,’ which occur when a business reviews your credit report for credit application purposes, and ‘soft inquiries,’ which happen when your credit is checked for reasons other than credit applications, like pre-approved offers or account management. Applying for a new credit card triggers a hard inquiry, potentially causing a temporary dip in your credit score. Conversely, checking your own credit or when it’s checked for non-credit-related reasons won’t affect your credit score; these are considered soft inquiries.

Does checking my own credit impact my score?

No, checking your own credit doesn’t harm your credit score. You can review your credit data without worrying about negatively affecting your score.

Why are inquiries recorded?

Hard inquiries are logged to give potential creditors and lenders insight into your credit application frequency. Too many hard inquiries might signal that you’re attempting to borrow beyond your means. However, multiple inquiries for the same purpose within a short period are often consolidated into a single, less impactful inquiry session. Moreover, inquiries serve consumers by potentially alerting them to identity theft attempts when someone tries to open accounts in their name.

How long do inquiries last?

Most hard inquiries persist on your credit report for two years from their original placement. All inquiries, at minimum, remain visible for a year. While disputing inquiries is allowed, proving their inaccuracy can be challenging. If unsure about an inquiry, contacting the listed financial institution before disputing might provide clarity.

When it comes to securing a mortgage, every aspect of your credit history matters. Understanding the nuances of credit inquiries becomes particularly crucial in this context. Mortgage lenders carefully assess your credit report, including the frequency and nature of inquiries, to evaluate your financial responsibility and risk level. While inquiries are a necessary part of managing credit, being mindful of how they impact your report, especially when applying for a mortgage, can make a substantial difference. Keeping a vigilant eye on your credit health and minimizing unnecessary hard inquiries ensures you’re in a stronger position to secure the mortgage terms that align with your financial goals.

Contact us today to learn more!


Posted by Austin Howland on January 5th, 2024 8:03 PM


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