A soft pull credit report, also known as a soft inquiry or soft credit check, is a type of credit inquiry that does not impact the credit score as a hard pull would. The purpose of a soft pull is to provide a preliminary assessment of an individual’s creditworthiness without leaving a lasting mark on their credit history.
Unlike a hard pull, which generates a comprehensive credit score from all three major credit bureaus, a soft pull offers a blended score.
This blended score is a condensed version and does not contribute to any increases in the credit score.
Soft pulls are often favored in situations where individuals are exploring financial options without a firm commitment, such as casual inquiries or pre-qualification checks. For instance, someone casually browsing mortgage options or merely curious about their credit standing might opt for a soft pull credit report. In these cases, a soft pull is perceived as a convenient tool to gather preliminary information without affecting the credit score.
However, it’s essential to note that soft pulls have limitations. They may not provide a complete picture of an individual’s credit history, potentially missing critical details that could impact financial decisions. Despite their convenience for initial assessments, soft pulls are not sufficient for significant financial transactions, such as obtaining a mortgage, where a more thorough evaluation through a hard pull credit report is required.