According to FICO, a hard inquiry from a lender will decrease your credit score five points or less depending on the strength of your credit profile.
the difference between a hard inquiry and soft inquiry is that hard inquiries occur when a lender checks your credit report because of an application for goods or services. Soft inquiries are usually initiated by others, like companies making promotional offers of credit or your lender conducting periodic reviews of your existing credit accounts. Soft inquiries also occur when you check your own credit report or when you use credit monitoring services. These inquiries do not impact your credit score. When you are shopping for a new loan, such as for a home or a car, your information may be sent to multiple lenders to try to find you the best rates and loan terms. You will see a separate inquiry on your credit report from each of these lenders, but your credit score won’t be penalized for each one. Most credit scores will count multiple inquires for mortgage or auto loans as one if they are made within a certain period of time (14-30 days).
Will requesting a credit line increase cause a hard inquiry?
Possibly. It depends on the lender and their policy for how they treat that request. Some lenders may treat it as an application for new credit or additional credit and require a new credit report be accessed, which will then display as a hard inquiry. Others may approve the request without pulling your credit report or by doing what’s called an “account review,” which will appear on your report as a soft inquiry. If you are concerned, it’s best to ask your lender before applying for a higher credit limit.
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