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Soft Pull vs Hard Pull Viewable Data Differences

Regular Contributor

Soft Pull vs Hard Pull Viewable Data Differences

I have been searching for the difference between a hard and soft pull. From this website people have said the data that can be viewed is basically the same. But I don't think that's right.

As an example: when I originally started apping for credit I did a hard pull at Victorias Secret and was denied. 2 months later I tried the soft pull shopping card trick and was approved.

There's obviously a huge difference between what happens on a soft pull vs hard pull. Which explains me getting credit at the time with abysmal collections-full credit report.

Does anybody actually work in the lending industry that has some insight on this? I can't see how a soft pull would show the same data to a lender otherwise I would have never got approved for anything. My credit score was like 530 when I got approved with the Vicky secret soft pull. It would have never happened with a hard pull.



Message 1 of 7
6 REPLIES
Community Leader
Legendary Contributor

Re: Soft Pull vs Hard Pull Viewable Data Differences

The FCRA regulates who may receive a credit report and what my be included in a credit report soley in terms of permissible purpose.  It never uses the terminoloy "hard" or "soft" inquiry.  Those are coding distinctions deveoped by the CRAs.

 

The only type of inquiry with permissible purpose that limits who may request and what they may receive are those available to parties who wish to make a firm offer of credit or insurance to a consumer, and were not initiated by the consumer.  That special type of inquiry limits the party to only the name and address of the consumer.  All other inquiries with permissible purpose obtain a complete credit report.  Section 604(c) also mandates that such inquiries may not be reported to others in any credit report.  They are viewable only by the consumer.

 

Through some mechanism that has never, to my knowledge, been published, the CRAs somehow enable coding of some inquiries for business transactions and requests for credit or insurance that were inititated by the consumer in a manner that prevents their inclusion in credit reports available to others.  The so-called coding as a "soft" inquiry.   Such coding is administrative by the CRAs, and is not regulated under the FCRA.  It is a subjective way to block inquires from credit report inclusion that remains a mystery, at least to me.  They apparently permit a creditor to report, for example, a permissible purpose as a consumer initiated  request for credit, but instruct the CRA not to include their inquiry in credit reports they issue to others. 

That leads to the obvious conclusion that the CRAs have inquiry codes that instruct "permissible purpose is a consumer initiated request for credit, but dont let others see it." 

 

 

 

 

Message 2 of 7
Highlighted
Regular Contributor

Re: Soft Pull vs Hard Pull Viewable Data Differences


RobertEG wrote:

The FCRA regulates who may receive a credit report and what my be included in a credit report soley in terms of permissible purpose.  It never uses the terminoloy "hard" or "soft" inquiry.  Those are coding distinctions deveoped by the CRAs.

 

The only type of inquiry with permissible purpose that limits who may request and what they may receive are those available to parties who wish to make a firm offer of credit or insurance to a consumer, and were not initiated by the consumer.  That special type of inquiry limits the party to only the name and address of the consumer.  All other inquiries with permissible purpose obtain a complete credit report.  Section 604(c) also mandates that such inquiries may not be reported to others in any credit report.  They are viewable only by the consumer.

 

Through some mechanism that has never, to my knowledge, been published, the CRAs somehow enable coding of some inquiries for business transactions and requests for credit or insurance that were inititated by the consumer in a manner that prevents their inclusion in credit reports available to others.  The so-called coding as a "soft" inquiry.   Such coding is administrative by the CRAs, and is not regulated under the FCRA.  It is a subjective way to block inquires from credit report inclusion that remains a mystery, at least to me.  They apparently permit a creditor to report, for example, a permissible purpose as a consumer initiated  request for credit, but instruct the CRA not to include their inquiry in credit reports they issue to others. 

That leads to the obvious conclusion that the CRAs have inquiry codes that instruct "permissible purpose is a consumer initiated request for credit, but dont let others see it." 

 

 

 

 


I have the same question. I was under the impression that there is nothing gained by a hard inquiry that couldn't be obtained through a soft one. So if I am understanding you correctly, you are saying that the only information a company can get out of a soft inquiry is name and address? The only type of inquiry with permissible purpose that limits who may request and what they may receive are those available to parties who wish to make a firm offer of credit or insurance to a consumer, and were not initiated by the consumer.  That special type of inquiry limits the party to only the name and address of the consumer. That can't be right. Can it??

Message 3 of 7
Moderator Emeritus

Re: Soft Pull vs Hard Pull Viewable Data Differences

I don't know if this applies to the dialog or not, but you can get full CR info from a soft. Case in point is myFICO or any other CMS. You can see the full report. In terms of lending, I've had my FICO score provided to me by lenders after applying for credit, and that application resulted in a soft and not a hard inquiry.

Message 4 of 7
Community Leader
Legendary Contributor

Re: Soft Pull vs Hard Pull Viewable Data Differences

No, what I was saying that if the inquiry did not stem from the inititation of a request for credit or insurance by the consumer, a prospective creditor may still have permissible purpose to make an unsoclicted offer, but they get only the consumer's name and address.  Such inquiires are specifically prohibited under the FCRA from showing in a consumer credit report made avaliable to others.

 

Other types of inquires have, through the secretive CRA coding process, the ability to also be coded as soft.  Yes, even though coded as soft, they still get the consumer's full credit report.  The inquiree sees no difference.

 

Then why should they code as hard, and not hide the inquiry?  Because the intent of the credit reporting system is to provide an accurate report of a consumer's credit history to others.  Inquires are considered part of a consumer's history, and significant enough to be incuded in their credit scoring.

Subjective hiding of information can be argued to subvert that intent.  It is totally arbitrary.

Message 5 of 7
Regular Contributor

Re: Soft Pull vs Hard Pull Viewable Data Differences


RobertEG wrote:

No, what I was saying that if the inquiry did not stem from the inititation of a request for credit or insurance by the consumer, a prospective creditor may still have permissible purpose to make an unsoclicted offer, but they get only the consumer's name and address.  Such inquiires are specifically prohibited under the FCRA from showing in a consumer credit report made avaliable to others.

 

Other types of inquires have, through the secretive CRA coding process, the ability to also be coded as soft.  Yes, even though coded as soft, they still get the consumer's full credit report.  The inquiree sees no difference.

 

Then why should they code as hard, and not hide the inquiry?  Because the intent of the credit reporting system is to provide an accurate report of a consumer's credit history to others.  Inquires are considered part of a consumer's history, and significant enough to be incuded in their credit scoring.

Subjective hiding of information can be argued to subvert that intent.  It is totally arbitrary.


Ahh, gotcha. Thank you for the clarification. I guess I can understand why cli's and such would be coded as hp, as the consumer actually IS technically seeking (more) credit. I still don't like it, though. ;-)

Message 6 of 7
Regular Contributor

Re: Soft Pull vs Hard Pull Viewable Data Differences


Johnny_Favorite wrote:
I have been searching for the difference between a hard and soft pull. From this website people have said the data that can be viewed is basically the same. But I don't think that's right.

As an example: when I originally started apping for credit I did a hard pull at Victorias Secret and was denied. 2 months later I tried the soft pull shopping card trick and was approved.

There's obviously a huge difference between what happens on a soft pull vs hard pull. Which explains me getting credit at the time with abysmal collections-full credit report.

Does anybody actually work in the lending industry that has some insight on this? I can't see how a soft pull would show the same data to a lender otherwise I would have never got approved for anything. My credit score was like 530 when I got approved with the Vicky secret soft pull. It would have never happened with a hard pull.

I tend to believe that they see the same thing with both.

 

I recently requested a CLI with BoA and got the "call us for an immediate decision" and figured it was because my EX was frozen.  I called and the analyst spent ten minutes going over every single line of my credit file before approving the request.  It was a soft pull.

Message 7 of 7