Unlike soft inquiries, hard inquiries appear on your credit report for 24 months and can slightly reduce your overall credit score for up to a year. Inquiries are marked on your report as requests for new credit, and when you receive too many of them in a short period of time, lenders may see that as a sign of risk.

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If you want to protect your credit score and ensure it stays as high as possible, then it’s important to know how different credit inquiries can change your credit score. Find out the difference between a soft inquiry and a hard inquiry, and how long credit inquiries stay on your credit report.

Hard inquiries, also called hard pulls, occur when an individual applies for credit by filling out a credit card application, applying for a mortgage,

A soft pull is an inquiry that does not do damage to your credit score. It can be. How long do hard inquiries remain on your credit report?

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A hard inquiry will stay on your credit report for 24 months, but are only factored into your credit score for 12 months. Anytime you check your credit report or score online at sites like Credit Karma or Credit Sesame it does not affect your score, this is a soft credit inquiry.

Each of these types of credit checks count as a single credit inquiry. One exception occurs when you are "rate shopping". That’s a smart thing to do, and your FICO score considers all inquiries within a 45-day period for a mortgage, an auto loan or a student loan as a single credit inquiry.

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The credit reporting agencies will keep a record of your hard inquiries for 2 years. So, whenever you apply for credit, a lender gets to see how many hard inquiries you’ve had in that period. However, hard inquires only subtract from your credit score for one year.

For the most part, hard credit inquiries will have only a small impact on your credit score, typically no more than a few points per inquiry. That said, as the number of hard inquiries on your credit report increase so, too, does the impact to your credit score.