Does Running Your Credit Hurt Your Score

As a personal finance enthusiast, I often find myself delving into various aspects of credit and its impact on our financial lives. One question that frequently arises is whether running your credit hurts your score. Today, I want to explore this topic in-depth and provide you with a comprehensive understanding of how credit inquiries can affect your credit score.

First and foremost, it’s important to understand that there are two types of credit inquiries: hard inquiries and soft inquiries. Hard inquiries occur when a lender or financial institution checks your credit as a result of a credit application, such as when you apply for a mortgage or a credit card. On the other hand, soft inquiries are typically initiated by you or a company you have an existing relationship with, like when you check your own credit score.

The Impact of Hard Inquiries

Hard inquiries have the potential to affect your credit score, but the impact is usually minimal and short-lived. When a hard inquiry is made, it is recorded on your credit report and can stay there for up to two years. However, the impact on your credit score is usually temporary and typically fades away within a few months.

It’s worth noting that not all hard inquiries are treated equally. If you are shopping for a big-ticket item like a car or a mortgage, multiple inquiries within a short period of time (usually around 14-45 days) are often grouped together as a single inquiry. This allows you to compare loan offers without significantly damaging your credit score. However, if you have multiple inquiries over an extended period, it may raise red flags for potential lenders.

The Significance of Soft Inquiries

Soft inquiries, in contrast to hard inquiries, do not impact your credit score. Checking your own credit score or receiving pre-approved credit offers will not harm your credit. These inquiries are typically used for informational purposes and do not indicate a potential financial risk to lenders.

It’s important to note that there may be instances where a soft inquiry may turn into a hard inquiry. For example, if you receive a pre-approved credit offer and decide to apply for it, the lender may then conduct a hard inquiry, which could impact your credit score.

Keeping an Eye on Your Credit

Understanding the impact of credit inquiries on your credit score is crucial for managing your credit effectively. While a few hard inquiries may have minimal impact, it’s always wise to be mindful of the number and frequency of credit applications. Limiting the number of credit inquiries and primarily focusing on applying for credit only when necessary can help maintain a healthy credit score.

Additionally, regularly checking your own credit score is an important habit to develop. Monitoring your credit can help you detect any inaccuracies or fraudulent activity that may be impacting your score. There are numerous reputable websites and services available that allow you to check your credit score for free or at a nominal cost.


In conclusion, running your credit does have the potential to impact your credit score, but the effects are generally minimal and temporary. Hard inquiries can temporarily lower your score, especially if there are multiple inquiries over an extended period. Soft inquiries, on the other hand, have no impact on your credit score.

Ultimately, it’s essential to be mindful of how often you apply for credit and keep track of any credit inquiries made on your behalf. By understanding the different types of inquiries and their potential impact, you can make informed decisions and maintain a healthy credit score.