• Donnelle Brooks

When Does a Hard Credit Inquiry Occur?

Updated: Mar 4

We've been talking a lot about credit inquiries lately. If you have been working on building your credit score, you'll likely know what a hard credit inquiry is. Whenever you apply for a loan, or other type of credit, the creditor will check you credit, and the application will be listed on your credit file as a hard inquiry.


man holding credit card up to face
Lenders don't like to see too many hard inquiries on your credit file

It is important to know what events will trigger a hard inquiry, as they will make your credit rating drop a few points temporarily. So when does a hard inquiry occur? Here is our comprehensive guide.


When Will a Hard Inquiry Appear On My Credit File

Here is a list of things that will appear as a hard credit check on your credit file. Each of these will cause your credit score to drop temporarily, so it is best to space them out. If you are shopping around for loans, don't make multiple applications at once. It will make you look "credit hungry" and will greatly affect your creditworthiness.

  • Applying for a mortgage

  • When you apply for a car loan

  • Getting a mobile phone on a payment plan

  • Opening a post-pay mobile phone or internet account

  • When you apply for a credit card

  • Applying for a personal loan

  • Entering into a hire purchase agreement

  • Opening a utilities account, such as electricity or gas

  • Applying for a credit limit increase on an existing account

These are known as hard inquiries. You can read more about hard enquiries here.


When Will an Inquiry Not Appear on My Report

  • When you check your own credit rating

  • When you seek a pre-approval for a loan

  • When a potential employer checks your credit score

  • When one of your current creditors checks your credit score

  • Getting quotes for insurance

  • Opening an Afterpay or other Buy Now Pay Later account

These are called soft inquiries. You can read more about soft inquiries here.


Although credit inquiries only make up about 10% of your credit score, it is still important to be careful when making them. Taking care of your credit score is taking care of your future!

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