Need to Know!

Credit Inquiries – How They Affect Your Credit Score

May 23, 2016 8:38 am

credit score_inquiryOne of the most common questions from potential renters is whether their rental application will affect their credit score. Understanding why a rental application could affect a credit score requires a basic knowledge of credit inquiries.

There are two types of credit inquiries (hard and soft) which can occur when credit is accessed.

“Hard” Inquiries – These occur when you apply for credit or other services.

A few examples of applications which will create a “hard” inquiry:

  • auto loan applications
  • mortgage loan applications
  • rental applications
  • credit card applications

“Soft” Inquiries – These occur when your credit is pulled without the intention of extending new credit or being considered for a lending decision

A few examples of when a “soft” inquiry is created:

  • Pulling your credit yourself
  • Credit accessed for employment purposes
  • Credit accessed for insurance purposes
  • Pre-screened offers of credit

Based on what we learned above about credit scores, it should be clear a traditional credit application for rental is considered a hard inquiry. The landlord is evaluating credit worthiness of an applicant to protect their investment, and that credit evaluation creates a hard inquiry.

Using a consumer-initiated product such as® provides landlords with the option of accepting rental applications without adversely affecting consumer credit scores!  With® the applicant is pulling their own credit and sharing the report with a prospective landlord, therefore creating a soft inquiry.

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