Soft inquiries, sometimes known as a soft credit check or a soft credit pull, do not impact your credit scores because they are not attached to a specific application for credit. They can occur when a credit card issuer or mortgage lender checks a person's credit for preapproval purposes.
Examples of soft inquiries are when you check your own credit or one of your current creditors checks your credit. If you are concerned about the negative impact on your score, specify to the lender that you want a "soft pull" to see if you qualify for preapproval.
Soft inquiries may appear on your credit report but should not adversely affect your credit score.
Consumers are entitled to one free copy from each major credit bureau, Experian, Equifax and TransUnion, once every twelve months available at AnnualCreditReport.com.
Hard inquiries occur when a borrower makes a new application for credit. These will impact your credit score and will remain on your credit report for about two years. The impact is usually minimal and scores tend to rebound within a few months if no new negative information appears.
Borrowers may be concerned about multiple inquiries when they are shopping for rates or even approvals. Scoring models have algorithms to account for this situation if the inquires take place in a 14 to 45-day period.
Even a hard inquiry should not necessarily concern you and probably, will only play a minor role in your score. Soft inquiries, regardless of how many you may have will not impact your score.
Working with a trusted mortgage professional and sharing your concerns in advance of the "hard pull" is valuable. This mortgage professional may even be able to advise you on some things that could improve your credit score which could result in qualifying for a lower rate that could save thousands and possibly, tens of thousands of dollars over the life of your mortgage.
Your real estate professional can recommend a trusted mortgage professional to you.