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Confusion about Soft Pull vs. Hard Pull

Anonymous
Not applicable

Confusion about Soft Pull vs. Hard Pull

This is what I am confused about:

 

Everything I have read about Soft Credit checks indicates that it shows the exact same report as a Hard Credit check.

 

It's basically like pulling your own report.

 

Why this is confusing to me. If it shows the same information and you can generate a fico score from what you view, why doesn't every credit card lender use a soft pull method? What exactly is gained by running a soft pull to prequalify you vs. running the hard credit check to make a final decision.

 

To me, that is like saying, "Hey I am not going to give you food unless I see you haven't eaten in 3 days! A MRI shows you have no food in your stomach so I will say that I'll probably give you a sandwich."

 

Then a surgeon opens my stomach and finds no food in my stomach but says, "No, I'm not going to give you a sandwich after all, even though I'm confirming what the MRI shows!"

 

"THEN WHY DID YOU OPEN MY STOMACH IN THE FIRST PLACE?"

Message 1 of 7
6 REPLIES 6
FireMedic1
Community Leader
Super Contributor

Re: Confusion about Soft Pull vs. Hard Pull

Welcome @Anonymous 

A soft credit check shows the same information as a hard inquiry. This includes your loans and lines of credit as well as their payment history and any collections accounts, tax liens or other public records in your name. A soft credit check does not hurt your credit because it happens when you review your own credit report you review your own credit report or a creditor does so for regular account maintenance or to pre-screen you pre-screen you for a credit card.



Homeowner Sept 2020. 2021 Explorer ST Chase 3.1%. Sharing my rebuild after BK from learning here. Started 540's. FICO 9 801 as of 05/03/2023. I stayed around to pay it forward for those who helped me back then.

Message 2 of 7
Anonymous
Not applicable

Re: Confusion about Soft Pull vs. Hard Pull

Right, it shows the exact same information.

 

So why hard pull anybody?

 

Let me phrase it another way. If a soft credit check shows the same information as a hard credit check, why doesn't every lender just pull a soft credit check to qualify you?

Message 3 of 7
simplynoir
Community Leader
Mega Contributor

Re: Confusion about Soft Pull vs. Hard Pull


@Anonymous wrote:

Right, it shows the exact same information.

 

So why hard pull anybody?

 

Let me phrase it another way. If a soft credit check shows the same information as a hard credit check, why doesn't every lender just pull a soft credit check to qualify you?


Because a hard pull shows the actually attempt to get credit from the bank/lender i.e. pressing submit after filling out an application. This is mostly true for any applications where it will show a new account on your reports. It shows other financial institutions that "hey, they might not have had been approved but they sure did try" when they see the HPs. I know that's weird when some lenders have SP rules regarding CLI requests for instance. Some banks don't need a HP for a customer to ask, sometimes YMMV and others it's not negotiable to request an increase without one. Just depends on the bank really in that case

Message 4 of 7
SouthJamaica
Mega Contributor

Re: Confusion about Soft Pull vs. Hard Pull


@Anonymous wrote:

Right, it shows the exact same information.

 

So why hard pull anybody?

 

Let me phrase it another way. If a soft credit check shows the same information as a hard credit check, why doesn't every lender just pull a soft credit check to qualify you?


It's my understanding that a hard pull gives more detailed information.


Total revolving limits 748700 (630200 reporting) FICO 8: EQ 705 TU 717 EX 687

Message 5 of 7
FinStar
Moderator Emeritus

Re: Confusion about Soft Pull vs. Hard Pull


@SouthJamaica wrote:

@Anonymous wrote:

Right, it shows the exact same information.

 

So why hard pull anybody?

 

Let me phrase it another way. If a soft credit check shows the same information as a hard credit check, why doesn't every lender just pull a soft credit check to qualify you?


It's my understanding that a hard pull gives more detailed information.


No, both yield the same detailed data.

Message 6 of 7
jasonbourne84
Frequent Contributor

Re: Confusion about Soft Pull vs. Hard Pull


@Anonymous wrote:

Right, it shows the exact same information.

 

So why hard pull anybody?

 

Let me phrase it another way. If a soft credit check shows the same information as a hard credit check, why doesn't every lender just pull a soft credit check to qualify you?


Because the whole point is so that lenders know when you are actively seeking credit versus when other lenders are simply trying to court you. An HP is a signal to other lenders: "Be aware, this person actively pursued this kind of credit on this date."


Message 7 of 7
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