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Lenders and creditors can check your credit reports and this credit inquiry may or may not be recorded on your credit reports. There are two types of credit inquiries - hard and soft.
A hard inquiry (or a hard pull) occurs when you apply for a credit card, loan, or mortgage and authorize a bank or lender to review your credit report and credit score as a part of their decision-making process. Since hard pulls are tied to an actual credit application, this type of inquiry appears on your credit reports and can affect your credit scores.
On the contrary, a soft inquiry (or a soft pull) occurs when you check your own credit history or when a lender or bank checks your credit to pre-approve you for an offer. Soft inquiries may not appear on credit reports and they never affect your credit scores.