Bank like a financial pro with the Alliant mobile app. Make payments, deposit checks, manage cards and so much more.
Renovate your kitchen, pay off high-interest debt, or have access to emergency funds when you need it with an Alliant Home Equity Line of Credit.
Browse new and used vehicle inventory, and qualify for a rate discount when you buy!81
Separate each of your savings goals into an Alliant Supplemental Savings Account so you can visualize your progress.
Discover how an award-winning banking experience could be your next little win.
Logo courtesy of CNBC
By Maggie Jenkins
You’ve worked hard to get that essential three-digit number known as your credit score to where you want it, and now you want to keep it that way. And since you understand how your credit score is calculated, you know that credit inquiries (aka credit pulls) are one factor in determining it.
What exactly counts as a credit inquiry? What are the different types? And when can you expect each one to occur? Keep reading to find the answers to these important questions.
Two kinds of inquiries can occur on your credit report, hard inquiries and soft inquiries. While both types enable a third party (i.e., your lender or employer) to view your credit report, only hard inquiries can negatively affect your credit score.
A hard credit inquiry occurs when a lender checks your credit report to make a lending decision. Hard pulls can slightly lower your credit score and typically stay on your credit report for two years.
A soft credit inquiry occurs when a person or company checks your credit report, like when you check your credit score – which you can do for free via Alliant Online Banking, with your VantageScore credit score updated quarterly – or a mortgage lender preapproves you for a loan. Although soft credit pulls can happen without your permission, they don’t affect your credit score.
Note: If you’re rate shopping for the best deal on a car loan or mortgage, be sure to stay consistent and work quickly. Credit bureaus can usually tell that you’re comparison shopping, and they’ll typically give you a short window to finish shopping before combining multiple similar inquiries into just one hit on your credit report.
This chart, based on Alliant’s practices, can help you figure out what type of inquiry will be placed on your report:
Financial institutions’ practices can vary slightly, and other situations that might require a credit inquiry include applying to rent an apartment, opening a new cell phone contract or renting a car.
Bottom line: If you’re not sure whether an action will require a hard or soft inquiry, just ask! Your credit score could depend on it.
Maggie Jenkins is the PR and Social Media Specialist at Alliant. She began her career as a journalist for newspapers in Utica, N.Y., Des Moines and Cincinnati before moving to Chicago in 2009. Maggie is a six-time Chicago Marathon finisher and a lifelong creative writer with a passion for comedy. Her mom instilled in her a great sense of fiscal responsibility, and her big sister told her to throw that responsibility out the window every once in a while in the name of life experience. So far, that combination of financial advice has worked out pretty well for her.
Sign up for our monthly newsletter to help you stay at the top of your financial game.
Welcome! You'll now have financial tips sent to you directly each month.
You are leaving Alliant’s website to enter a website hosted by an organization separate from Alliant Credit Union. The products and services on this website are being offered through LPL Financial or its affiliates, which are separate entities from, and not affiliates of, Alliant Credit Union.The privacy and security policies of the site may differ from those of Alliant Credit Union.
You are leaving an Alliant Credit Union website and are about to enter a website operated by a third-party, independent from Alliant Credit Union. Alliant Credit Union does not manage the operation or content of the website you are about to enter. Alliant Credit Union is not responsible for the content and does not provide any products or services at this third-party website. The privacy and security policies of the site may differ from those of Alliant Credit Union.