A:

Inquiries for a preapproved offer do not affect a credit score unless a person follows through with the actual application. Even though someone is preapproved, he or she must fill out the application that accompanies the preapproval. A preapproval basically means that the lender thinks the person has a good chance at being approved, but it is not a guarantee.

There are two types of inquiries: hard inquiries and soft inquiries. A soft inquiry is what lenders use to preapprove a consumer for a line of credit. Soft inquiries also happen when a current lender pulls a credit report for an account review or when a debt collector checks a credit report for recent activity. A hard inquiry is what is used when someone applies for a credit card or loan. When the consumer fills out the application that accompanies a preapproval, sometimes the lender uses the soft inquiry that was previously pulled, and sometimes the lender pulls a brand new report with a hard inquiry.

Soft inquiries are seen only by the consumer and do not accompany requests for a credit report. They do not affect credit scores, and other lenders cannot see them. Hard inquiries can affect a consumer's credit score if there are many. Even though the impact of hard inquiries on a credit score is very low, other lenders can see them and sometimes deny a credit application because the consumer has too many other recent inquiries. These hard inquiries fall off a credit report after two years.

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RELATED TERMS
  1. Hard Inquiry

    A type of credit report check that may lower an individual's ...
  2. Soft Inquiry

    A credit report check that does not affect an individual's credit ...
  3. Credit Inquiry

    A transaction whereby a bank or other credit-issuing institution ...
  4. Account Inquiry

    Any inquiry into an account, whether it be a depositary account ...
  5. Appreciative Inquiry

    Definition of appreciative inquiry
  6. Credit History

    A record of a consumer's ability to repay debts and demonstrated ...
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