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Since 2003, Dan Green has been a leading mortgage lender and respected industry authority. His unwavering commitment to first-time home buyers and home buyer education has established him as a trusted voice among his colleagues, his peers, and the media. Dan founded Homebuyer.com to expand the American Dream of Homeownership to all who want it. .

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What Is A Soft Credit Check?

A soft credit check, also known as a soft credit inquiry, is a credit check that does not affect a home buyer’s credit score. Soft credit pulls are typically used as part of getting a mortgage pre-qualification.

A Longer Definition: Soft Credit Check

A soft credit pull is a form of credit inquiry that provides a limited view of a home buyer’s credit report.

Mortgage lenders use soft credit checks to pre-approve home buyers who want to buy a home and sometimes use soft credit checks to verify the refinance qualifications of existing mortgage customers.

Unlike hard credit pulls, which can slightly lower your credit score, soft pulls do not affect your score or your creditworthiness. Instead, soft credit pulls give lenders a snapshot of your credit situation, helping them to offer you relevant products for which you may qualify, including the HomeReady mortgage or a USDA loan, without affecting your FICO.

Soft Credit Check: A Real World Example

First-Time Home Buyer Stories: Soft Credit Check

Imagine a first-time home buyer is exploring their homeownership options and wanting to understand how much home they can afford to buy, so they contact a mortgage lender.

The mortgage lender takes an informal mortgage application and makes a soft credit pull.

The soft credit check lets the lender review the buyer’s credit report, calculate their debt-to-income, and estimate the buyer’s maximum purchasing power – all without harming the buyer’s credit.

Common Questions About Soft Credit Checks

What’s the difference between a soft and hard credit check?

A soft credit pull is a superficial check that does not impact your credit score, while a hard pull is a more thorough inquiry that occurs when you officially apply for credit, which can slightly lower your score.

Can I see who has performed a soft credit check on my report?

Yes, you can see all the soft inquiries on your credit report, but these are only visible to you only and do not affect your credit score.

How often can a soft credit pull be done without affecting my credit?

There is no limit to the number of soft pulls that can be done on your credit. They have no impact on your score, regardless of frequency.

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       A soft credit pull, also known as a soft credit inquiry, is a credit check that does not affect a home buyer's credit score. Soft credit pulls are typically used as part of getting a mortgage pre-qualification.

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