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Soft credit inquiries: what does puller see?


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I could have sworn if it was a soft pull they still see what is on your credit report in terms of accounts and creditors. CAs like to do this to see how your credit health is doing and usually go after you if your CR looks like they have a good chance at collecting any money.

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I could have sworn if it was a soft pull they still see what is on your credit report in terms of accounts and creditors. CAs like to do this to see how your credit health is doing and usually go after you if your CR looks like they have a good chance at collecting any money.
Exactly. A "soft pull" is what you do when you try the bumpage routine...
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The 'soft' designation applies to the impact on your score.

Companies can pull 'soft' and get the entire report, such as when a creditor does an AR pull (account review) or for offers of insurance. A company can pull a 'soft' PRO (promotional) pull, which only nets them personal data, enough to send out those pre-approved CC offers.

Soft inquiries do not impact your score and only display to (on CR's directed to) you, not others. But there are differennt types that yield differing amounts of data from your Consumer File.

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  • 2 weeks later...
The 'soft' designation applies to the impact on your score.

Companies can pull 'soft' and get the entire report, such as when a creditor does an AR pull (account review) or for offers of insurance. A company can pull a 'soft' PRO (promotional) pull, which only nets them personal data, enough to send out those pre-approved CC offers.

Soft inquiries do not impact your score and only display to (on CR's directed to) you, not others. But there are differennt types that yield differing amounts of data from your Consumer File.

Since soft pulls are often done in bulk, the actual report comes back in a very cryptic format. The CRA each use different formats to sell soft reports, but the soft report generally contains every piece of information on one's credit report. The caveat is: it's damn near impossible for a layperson to interpret one of these. By design the report almost looks like assembly language.

It's written this way to be sorted and analyzed by machines, the good reports pass into one data stream, mediocre reports into another and so on. The good reports are sold to prime lenders; the terrible reports are sold to other lenders. In the case of a security breach, the thought is: information is not really compromised, because whoever gets it probably wouldn't know what the heck they were looking at anyway. That being said, security surrounding soft reports and who gets to look at them is not as strong as it could be. I would say most, if not all, soft reports are compiled, sorted and housed on 3rd party web sites who have affiliations with the creditors to whom they sell them. The creditor generally takes no responsibility for the controls of this 3rd party, yet one does have the right to opt out of the "privacy policy" within their individual creditor. Sometimes the creditor will send you a privacy policy, sometimes they won't. Opting out seems to be something you may have to do in writing with your own form. One also has the right to opt out of pre-screened offers altogether. note: opting out of the FCRA pre-screen is not the same as opting out of the privacy policy from existing creditors.

This being the case, it brings up an interesting point that quite often (and depending which creditor, of course) opting out of the privacy policy can eliminate the creditor's ability to soft pull your credit without illegally sharing your information. This is something to consider if your credit is terrible and you are afraid of a rate-jack on an existing account.

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