'Soft inquiry' won't hurt credit score
Dear Dr. Don,
If your current credit card provider does a soft inquiry on your credit report, does it show up on your report's credit history like your own inquiries?
-- Dee Details
The difference between a hard inquiry and a soft inquiry on your credit report is the difference between applying for credit and having your credit monitored.
A hard inquiry happens when you apply for credit. You've initiated the credit application process. A hard inquiry stays on your credit report for two years but is only used in calculating your credit score for one year.
A soft inquiry takes place when an existing creditor reviews your file or a prospective creditor looks at the file as part of a marketing decision. Your decision to review your credit report also generates a soft inquiry. These soft inquiries have no impact on your credit score.
You are the only person who gets to see these soft inquiries on your credit report. Creditors and other parties eligible to review your credit report see your account relationships and the hard inquiries, but not the soft inquiries.