There are 2 types of inquiries that can appear in your credit report:
- Soft are non-credit-related, also known as account reviews. These won't affect your credit score in any way
- Hard inquiries are credit-related and might affect your credit score.
A credit-related inquiry (or credit application inquiry) is a more in-depth look at your credit history. This shows up on your report and can lower your credit score. Lenders carry out these inquiries before making a decision on whether to accept your credit application.
Too many hard inquiries in a short period could bring your credit score down because lenders might think you rely on credit.
You might see hard inquiries when you apply for a:
- Loan, credit card or mortgage
- Utility account (e.g. electricity, gas, water, cable, and telephone)
- Cell phone contract
- Offer – using a price comparison site (an inquiry might be carried out by themselves or their partners).