Soft vs. Hard Inquiries? What’s the Difference?

Credit inquiries come in two flavors: soft and hard. Here’s how each kind affects you.

Inquiries, soft or hard, are authorized requests to see your credit report. But the similarities end there.

Soft Inquiries

A soft credit inquiry is sort of a more routine credit check that can be done without your permission. Examples include when:

  • A lender you currently do business with requests your report to make sure you’re still creditworthy
  • You check your own credit report

The key takeaway for soft inquiries is that they won’t affect your credit score because they’re not applications for credit.

Hard Inquiries

A hard inquiry happens when a potential lender requests your credit report to help evaluate whether to offer you credit. Examples include applying for a:

  • Mortgage
  • Car loan
  • Credit card

Why inquiries matter

Though soft inquiries will show up on your credit report, they will have no effect on your perceived creditworthiness. Hard inquiries, on the other hand may be factored into credit scoring models. Though hard inquiries are generally seen to have a negative effect on credit scores, the impact of each inquiry isn’t usually too big. However, too many hard inquiries on your credit report may drag your credit score down, especially over the shorter run.

Here’s the good news on hard inquiries: they’ll fall off of your credit report after 2 years. Also, if you make a certain amount of hard inquiries within a short period of time when you’re loan shopping for a single purchase (like a mortgage), credit scoring models will generally consider all those hard inquiries to be one inquiry – they don’t want to penalize you for shopping around for the best deal.

Bottom line, don’t worry about soft inquiries, but keep an eye on your hard inquiries.

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Simple Ways To Flex Your Eco Credentials

As a regular consumer with a mortgage and pennies to save, it can be tough to think in an environmentally friendly way. We all know about Greta Thunberg, climate change and the importance of doing our bit to help safeguard the future of the planet, but it can be hard to pay enough attention to this aim when more pressing issues intrude on our every day life. Not everyone has the luxury of purchasing more expensive groceries from local producers such as fresh fruit and veg or meat, and many people don’t have the cash to purchase a hybrid car rather than relying on the old banger on our driveways. However, all is not lost. Take a look at these simple ways to flex your eco credentials.

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When you head to the supermarket, don’t feel guilty that you are lining the pockets of a corporate fat cat rather than the high street shopkeeper. High street shops can be expensive, so heading their regularly might not work for you. Supermarkets are great solutions as prices are kept low. Do your bit by buying loose fruit and vegetables rather than those items that are packaged in a ridiculous amount of polystyrene and plastic. If you are finding yourself down the toilet roll aisle, go for the recycled option. Down the bread aisle, choose the loaf that is wrapped in compostable packaging, rather than a single use plastic. When at the check out, whip out your reusable bag from an eco bag company. These are strong, durable and save you collecting an obscene amount of carrier bags at home.

You can also look at your own use of single use plastic. Rather than purchasing bottled water, get hold of a water filter to purify the water coming out of your tap. Bottled water is wasteful, whereas a filter, with replacement cartridges is much more efficient and will save you money. All the while, you get the water that you want.

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If you can, take public transport to get to work, reach an appointment or to visit family. This is the best way to cut your carbon emissions. Alternatively, consider signing up for a local car sharing scheme. Just because you do a lot of motorway driving or have to head out to obscure places off the beaten track, doesn’t mean you need a car. Hiring a vehicle instead via a car sharing scheme can be more economical and better for the environment. You don’t have the stress or expense of maintenance, and you’ll always have the luxury of driving a new and modern vehicle.

Some car sharing schemes allow you to choose from electric powered stock, enabling you to be even more environmentally conscious when driving. Support these local initiatives and you can enliven your local economy as well as contribute to environment improving policies.

Being environmentally aware can appear tougher if you don’t have the cash to seemingly match. However, follow this guide and you can flex your eco credentials muscles successfully.

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