Hard Inquiry

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Definition of 'Hard Inquiry'

A hard inquiry is a request from a lender to access your credit report. This can happen when you apply for a new credit card, loan, or other type of credit.

Hard inquiries can temporarily lower your credit score by a few points. This is because each hard inquiry is considered a new credit application, and lenders may view this as a sign that you're trying to borrow too much money.

The number of hard inquiries that you have in a certain period of time can also affect your credit score. For example, if you have more than 6 hard inquiries in the past 12 months, this could lower your credit score by more than 10 points.

It's important to keep in mind that hard inquiries only stay on your credit report for 2 years. So, if you have a few hard inquiries in a short period of time, your credit score will eventually recover.

However, if you're planning to apply for a mortgage or other major loan, it's best to avoid having too many hard inquiries in the months leading up to your application. This will help you get the best possible interest rate.

Here are some tips for avoiding hard inquiries:

* Only apply for credit when you're sure you'll qualify.
* Shop around for the best interest rate before you apply for a loan.
* Consider applying for a pre-approved loan, which will allow you to lock in an interest rate without having to go through a hard inquiry.

By following these tips, you can help protect your credit score and get the best possible interest rate on your next loan.

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