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 a lender, to view the information in your credit report, only hard inquiries 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 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 if you are eligible and your 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 will impact your credit score and they may remain on your credit report for two years. With Upstart a hard pull occurs just before you sign the promissory note.

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