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The Impact of Credit Inquiries on Your Credit Score

Credit inquiries, a necessary evil?

Credit inquiries, those pesky little questions that pop up when you apply for credit. They may seem harmless, but the impact they have on your credit score might surprise you. In this article, we’ll explore the effects of credit inquiries and how to minimize their impact on your credit score.

What are credit inquiries?

Credit inquiries are requests made by lenders to check your credit history when you apply for credit. This can include applications for credit cards, loans, or mortgages. When a lender makes an inquiry, it’s recorded on your credit report, and it stays there for up to two years.

How do credit inquiries affect my credit score?

Credit inquiries can have a negative impact on your credit score, but the extent of the damage depends on several factors. The most significant factor is the type of inquiry. There are two types: hard inquiries and soft inquiries.

Hard inquiries, the bad guys?

Hard inquiries are made when you apply for credit, like a credit card or loan. These inquiries indicate that you’re actively seeking new credit, which can make up to 10% of your credit score. Multiple hard inquiries in a short period can significantly lower your credit score.

Soft inquiries, the good guys?

Soft inquiries are made when you check your credit score or when a lender pre-approves you for credit. These inquiries don’t affect your credit score, as they’re not indicative of new credit being sought.

How to minimize the impact of credit inquiries?

To avoid a drop in your credit score, it’s essential to be mindful of the number of hard inquiries you have. Here are some tips to help you minimize their impact:

  1. Avoid excessive credit applications.
  2. Space out your credit applications over time.
  3. Consider pre-approved credit offers.
  4. Use a credit monitoring service that checks your score without a hard inquiry.
  5. Don’t apply for credit unless it’s necessary.


Credit inquiries are a necessary part of the credit process, but they can have an impact on your credit score. By understanding the difference between hard and soft inquiries and being mindful of how often you apply for credit, you can minimize the negative effects on your credit score. Remember, it’s essential to check your credit report regularly to ensure accuracy and detect any signs of fraud or identity theft.