3 Big Myths About Your FICO Scores: Hard Pull vs Soft Pull Explained
There are many myths about FICO credit scores, but here are three common ones:
Checking your credit score will lower it: This is not true.
Checking your credit score, also known as a "soft inquiry," does not affect your credit score. Only "hard inquiries," which occur when you apply for credit, can slightly lower your credit score.
Closing a credit card will improve your credit score: This is not true.
While it may seem logical that closing a credit card would improve your credit score, it can actually have the opposite effect. Closing a credit card can lower your credit score by reducing the amount of available credit you have, which can increase your credit utilization ratio.
Having a high income means you will have a high credit score: This is not true.
While a high income can certainly make it easier to pay bills on time and manage debt, it is not a direct factor in determining your credit score. Your credit score is based on your credit history, including factors such as your payment history, the amount of debt you have, the length of your credit history, and the types of credit you have.
What's the Difference Between a Hard and Soft Pull?
A "soft inquiry" or "soft pull" is a request for your credit information that does not result in a credit check.
Soft inquiries are typically made for purposes such as pre-approved credit offers or for employers to check your credit as part of a job application. Soft inquiries do not impact your credit score.
On the other hand, a "hard inquiry" or "hard pull" is a request for your credit information that does result in a credit check.
Hard inquiries occur when you apply for credit, such as a loan or credit card.
Hard inquiries can slightly lower your credit score because they indicate that you are seeking new credit. However, the impact on your credit score is usually minimal and tends to decrease over time. It's important to note that you have some control over hard inquiries because they only occur when you apply for credit.
How to Mimimize the Impact on Your Credit Score.
If you are shopping around for a loan or credit card and want to minimize the impact on your credit score, you can try to do all of your applications within a short period of time, as multiple hard inquiries for the same type of credit within a short period of time are usually treated as a single inquiry.
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