“Inquiries” on my credit report – what are they?

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By Jim Garnett

What Are “Inquiries” On My Credit Report?

Q: Can you explain what an “inquiry” is on a credit report?

A: An “inquiry” is the listing of the name of those who have accessed your credit file information. They have done so to “inquire” about your credit history.

Four Sources Of Inquiries
  1. One source for an inquiry could be a credit grantor that you have given permission to check your credit file in order to receive a loan or a credit card.
  2. A second source could be credit grantors who are checking to see if you qualify for pre-approved credit. The information they access is extremely limited. These “promotional inquiries” show up only on the credit file that you, yourself access. Other lenders do not see promotional inquiries.
  3. A third source for an inquiry can be another authorized user on any of your accounts who wish to check the history of those accounts.
  4. And last of all an inquiry can be generated by you, yourself. Inquiries made by the consumer do not show up on the credit report that others see.
Two General Types of Inquiries

1. Hard Inquiry

A record of a business request to see your credit report data for the purpose of an application for credit. Hard inquiries appear on your credit report each time you complete an application for a credit card, loan, cell phone, etc. Hard inquiries remain on your credit report for 2 years but are only included in your credit score for the first 12 months.

2. Soft Inquiry

A type of inquiry that does not harm your credit score. Soft inquiries are recorded when a business accesses your credit data for a purpose other than an application for credit. Soft inquiries include your request to see your own credit report and employment-related requests. This type of inquiry is recorded by the credit bureaus but does not usually appear on a credit report purchased by you or a business.