How Your Credit Score is Impacted by Credit Inquiries


If you are about to finance a major purchase, you should first understand how credit inquires can affect your credit score, advises Victory State Bank, the only community-based commercial bank on Staten Island.

Credit reporting agencies (CRAs) store information about your credit history. As explained by U.S. General Services Administration’s “Consumer Action Handbook,” a credit report from a CRA contains past information on where you work and live, how you pay your bills, liens, and whether you have filed for bankruptcy.

CRSs gather this information and sell it to creditors, employers, insurers, and others.

The most common type of CRA is the credit bureau. There are three major credit bureaus:


§  Equifax: 1-800-685-1111 or To place a fraud alert on your credit report, call 1-888-766-0008.


§  Experian: 1-888-397-3742 or


§  TransUnion: 1-800-888-4213 or,  or 1-888-909-8872 to place a fraud alert.




Soft and hard credit inquiries are two ways of pulling your credit report. Both give a company access to your credit history, but they are used for different reasons and have different impacts on your credit score.


A soft inquiry occurs when a company pulls your credit report, without you initiating it.

Lenders and credit companies do a soft inquiry to decide whether or not to pre-approve you for credit.

Employers, current lenders, and landlords may also do a soft pull. Downloading your own credit report is another example of a soft inquiry. Soft inquiries don’t affect your credit score.


A hard inquiry occurs when a lender pulls your credit report to make a lending decision, after you apply for credit.

You have to authorize hard inquiries. Each hard inquiry can reduce your credit score.

If there are hard inquiries on your credit report, that you didn’t authorize, it could be fraud. Dispute hard inquiries you didn’t authorize with the creditor listed and the credit bureaus. If neither will help, file a complaint with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFP).




VSB Bancorp, Inc. (OTCQX: VSBN) is the one-bank holding company for Victory State Bank. As Staten Island, N.Y.’s only community-based commercial bank, Victory State Bank operates five full-service locations on the Island, including the main office in the community of Great Kills and branches in West Brighton, St. George, Dongan Hills and Rosebank.

A planned sixth branch, to be situated in Meiers Corners, has received both regulatory and building department approvals.

For additional information, Victory State Bank may be reached at 718-979-1100, or visited online at

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