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What Is a Soft Credit Card Check?

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Quick Answer

A soft credit check or inquiry occurs when a company checks a person's credit without affecting his or her credit score, according to U.S. News & World Report. A soft credit check occurs as a background check rather than a check of a person's credit report.

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A soft credit check typically occurs when an individual checks his own credit or an employer accesses a person's report, states U.S. News & World Report. A soft inquiry can occur without a person's permission. Preapproval for a credit card or loan can also result in a soft inquiry. A hard credit check typically occurs when an individual applies for a credit card, mortgage or loan for an automobile.

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