There are five parts that the Fair Isaac Corporation uses to comprise of your FICO credit score.
If you want the best credit score possible, you concentrate on these five components: your credit history, the length of your credit history, the amount of debt you have, the different types of credit you have borrowed, and finally how many inquiries into your credit report have been made recently. 90% of top lenders use FICO® Scores.
There are two types of inquiries or pulls into your credit report, either a soft credit pull or a hard credit pull.
What Is A Hard Credit Pull?
A hard credit pull or hard credit inquiry is when a bank or lender pulls your credit report and credit score to determine whether or not you meet the requirements for them to lend you money.
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A hard credit pull will reduce your credit score slightly. According to the Fair Isaac Corporation which runs and manages the FICO Credit Score, the one true credit score that over 90% of lenders use and rely on, new credit accounts for approximately 10% of the calculation of your total FICO credit score. Monitor your FICO Score
What Is A Soft Credit Pull?
A soft credit pull is when you request a copy of your own credit score and credit report. A soft pull can also occur when an employer or a landlord pulls your credit history as well. Soft credit pulls do not affect your credit score or count against you in any way.
So you should continue to check your credit report at least annually without any fear that your credit score will go down. Many financial planners recommend requesting your credit report from each of the three credit bureaus each year and staggered every four months to allow you to keep a close eye on your credit report and monitor for any changes.
Also another way to do that is to sign up for a credit monitoring service like the ones provided by TransUnion, Equifax, or LifeLock. I’m a huge fan of LifeLock after having two identity theft incidents earlier this year back to back.
Why A Hard Credit Pull Matters
Pinging your credit score or conducting a hard credit pull sends a signal that you are obviously looking for new credit and the likelihood of you paying back that and other debts is slightly diminished. For most people, a hard credit pull can reduce your overall credit score by approximately five points.
The better your credit score is will lessen the potential damage of a single hard credit pull. If you apply for multiple credit cards in a short period of time those hard credit inquiries can have a greater affect.
One factor that many people may not realize is that credit bureaus such as Equifax, Experian, TransUnion, and even Fair Isaac Corporation take into consideration that you may be shopping for a great mortgage rate or loan rate on certain types of loans such as a car loan.
In that case, multiple hard pulls for one types of consumer loan such as that is typically only considered one hard credit pull against your credit score.