Hard Hits are credit checks that appear on your credit report and count toward your credit score. Anyone who views your credit report will see these inquiries.
Examples of hard hits include:
- an application for a credit card
- some rental applications
- some employment applications
Soft Hits are credit checks that appear on your credit report but only you can see them. These credit checks don’t affect your credit score in any way.
Examples of soft hits include:
- requesting your own credit report
- businesses asking for your credit report to update their records about an existing account you have with them
It’s normal and expected to seek credit every so often. When lenders and others ask a credit bureau for your credit report, it’s recorded as an inquiry. That being said, if there are too many credit checks on your report, lenders may think you’re urgently trying to get credit or trying to live beyond your means, so it is best to limit unnecessary credit checks when possible.