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Credit Inquiries

While credit inquiries may have a negative impact on credit scores, inquiries alone will never cause you to be declined. Negative information will invariably have a greater impact on scores than credit inquiries. Recent credit inquiries, however, concern creditors because they may indicate you have added debt they don’t know about yet. That’s why you often are asked to explain recent credit inquiries when you apply for a mortgage. The older the inquiry, the less important it is.

Your creditors only see credit inquiries from transactions you initiate. So credit inquiries resulting from preapproved credit offers aren’t provided to creditors. Because people shop for the best rates when making a home or auto purchase, credit scoring systems count inquiries for those reasons that occur with a short period of time as only one inquiry.

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