Credit Monitoring FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions about Credit Monitoring

    What is an "inquiry" and what is the difference between a hard inquiry and a soft inquiry?

    Credit bureaus record a "hard inquiry" in your credit file any time a third party, such as a lender, credit card company or landlord, requests your credit report in order to grant you credit. These hard inquiries are typically only made when you are requesting credit. If you have too many of these hard inquiries in a short period of time, it can negatively affect your credit score. Hard inquiries remain on your credit report for two years. A "soft inquiry" occurs when a lender requests your credit report for marketing purposes, such as to offer you a preapproved credit offer. Soft inquiries do not affect your credit score and do not show up on credit reports given to third parties, although some bureaus will include them for informational purposes only on your own credit report that they provide to you.

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