New Contributor
Posts: 61
Registered: ‎09-19-2010

Soft Inquiry

Good day to all,


When one changes residency to a new state and applies for new utilities, specifically, land line telephone service as opposed to wireless, the telephone company tells you they need to check your credit. Is this considered a soft inquiry or a hard one?


If it is considered soft (for new land line telephone service in a new state), will it be reported on the credit reports?



Thank you very much.

Moderator Emeritus
Posts: 32,869
Registered: ‎08-04-2007

Re: Soft Inquiry

It can go either way unfortunately. Some providers, more so with telephone, TV, alarm services it seems, will pull a hard inquiry. In either case, there's not much of an option anyway I suppose.


Whether hard or soft, both report. Only the hard inquiries will impact your score, if at all.

Mega Contributor
Posts: 19,050
Registered: ‎03-19-2007

Re: Soft Inquiry

The terms "hard" and "soft" inquiry are not part of the FCRA.

The FCRA defines two basic things: whether a party has a legitimate purpose for information in your credit file, and if so, how much of your credit file they can obtain.

All types of inquires except for one, as defined in the FCRA, are entitled to pull your full credit report.  Only inquires not initiated by a credit or businees transaction by the consumer (so-called "promitional inquiries) are limited.  They may receive only your name and address, and not your full CR.


Beyond that, it depends on how the inquiree codes their inquiry.  FICO provides approx. 10 different inquiry codes. Some result in their inclusion in your FICO scoring (what are referred to as "hard pulls"), and some are not (so-called "soft pulls").

A utility provider has the rght to pull your full credit report as a business transaction initiated by the consumer.  How they code it is at their discretion.



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