Many people worry about how having your credit run for a pre-approval, sometimes called a “hard check,” affects your credit score. Hard checks occur when you apply for a mortgage or auto loan. Credit card applications, student loans, personal loans, and apartment rental applications also trigger hard checks. In general, a hard credit check may lower your score around 5 points. Many big lenders will automatically re-run a credit check every 90 days, but we don’t want that.

However, your credit can be checked multiple times for a single purpose (i.e., applying multiple times for a car loan) in a single 30-day window, and that only counts as one incidence.

Note: A “soft check” is when you check your own credit, or if a potential employer accesses your credit profile as part of a background check.