Soft Inquiries and Hard Inquiries on Credit Report

Asked over 1 year ago - Loomis, CA

I got a copy of my credit report.

I found out that about a year earlier, a collection agency in another state where I have never been made a soft inquiry that was only visible to me. Then about 10 months after that, the same collection agency made a hard inquiry on my credit report that was visible to everyone and the credit report states that it will remain on my credit report for 3 years.

How do California Law and the Federal Law regulates inquiries on credit reports?

Is a collection agency making a hard inquiry their venue to put negative information on my credit report or do they have other ways to put negative information on my credit report?

Why would a collection agency make a soft inquiry then 10 months later make a hard inquiry?

Attorney answers (3)

  1. Matthew Scott Berkus

    Contributor Level 20


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . The answer to your question is too difficult to fully explain here.

    Under FCRA, a reporting entity needs a permissible purpose. 15 USC 1681b states what is allowed. Collection agencies are allowed to do hard inquiries assuming the are collecting a legitimate debt.

  2. Mikalah Liviakis


    Contributor Level 11


    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . Soft inquiries are credit checks initiated without your consent so the credit agencies do not lower your score fore these. Hard inquiries are initiated when you go to buy something or request credit. Enough of them will lower your score but they will fade away rather quickly.

  3. Kris K. Skaar

    Contributor Level 15


    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . A hard inquiry is not the only way for a collector to have a negative impact on your credit report. It is my understanding that the hard inquiry will have a relatively small negative impact on your credit score. (The hard inquiry will have less impact than an actual collection item or negative tradeline.)

    Do you know what the debt is that the collector is trying to collect? Are you getting other collection activity from the collector?

    You may wish to have your situation reviewed by a consumer rights attorney. I suggest you look for one at

    Skaar & Feagle, LLP maintains offices in Marietta (770 427 5600) and Decatur (404 373 1970), Georgia. The... more

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