How Long Do Hard Inquiries Stay On A Credit Report?


I’ve made a number of hard inquiries recently (applying for new credit cards and an auto loan) and my credit score has dropped significantly. I’m wondering how long these hard inquiries will stay on my credit report and affect my credit score? – Trevor, Nebraska


Thanks for the question, Trevor. For readers who don’t know what a hard inquiry is, we suggest reading our blog post “Soft Vs Hard Inquiries“, before reading the answer to this question.

Legally hard inquiries can stay on a credit report for a maximum of two years. They generally affect credit scores the most within the first three months and after a six month period they are no longer affecting the score. After a period of twelve months, they’re no longer used in calculating a FICO score.

Hard inquiries will usually cause a credit score to drop by no more than 10 points (usually a drop of 3-5 points is standard), but this depends on a number of factors such as: the number of other recent hard inquiries, length of credit history, number of open accounts, average age of accounts, etc etc.

If you have a question, contact us and we’ll do our best to answer it.



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What is the difference between those statements regarding inquiries after a period of 6 months and a period of 12 months?