Soft Inquiry Personal Loans: What They Are + Your Options

Soft Inquiry Personal Loans: What They Are + Your Options

Attempting to navigate the world of credit can be extremely confusing and unnerving, especially if you are unfamiliar with all of the different ways your credit score can be affected. Having bad credit (or no credit) is extremely common. Because of this, lenders and credit bureaus intend to make it increasingly difficult for individuals with low/no credit to obtain loans or increase their scores.

Applying for and obtaining loans in the US can be just as confusing for immigrants or nonresidents. Don’t be discouraged — there are still great options for your needs!

What is a soft credit inquiry?

A soft inquiry is a type of credit check that doesn’t count negatively towards your credit score. The person or company providing the soft inquiry checks your credit report as a background check, such as when you would apply for a lease or a personal loan.

Soft inquiries do not affect your credit score and can be useful for those with no credit or bad credit. If you have bad credit and don’t want your score to be negatively affected (and want more than just loans for bad credit), then a soft inquiry loan might be the right option for you. It’ll keep your credit safe in the long run.

Be Careful: Soft Inquiry Loans can be Predatory

Watch out for unfair loan terms when agreeing to a soft inquiry loan. Many predatory lenders focus solely on credit, and not at all at the borrower’s ability to repay the loan. Be sure to do your homework and figure out all that the soft inquiry loan entails before agreeing to it.

Keep an eye out for:

  • Payday Lenders
  • High-interest rates
  • Loans bigger than you can realistically afford to pay back

What is a hard pull credit inquiry?

A hard pull is another type of credit score check that will affect your credit report. This type of credit check occurs when you authorize a lender (whom you’ve applied for credit with) to review your credit report. They do this so that they can make a decision on the type of loan they can provide you. Hard pull issuers often include financial institutions such as credit card companies and other lenders.

Hard pulls are usually used when credit checks are acquired for various credit card issuers and loans, and for mortgages. Be wary of how often you allow your credit report to be drawn up, as hard pulls always affect your credit and decrease your credit score.

If you have no credit history, it’s generally better to avoid hard pull credit inquiries, as they are likely to be denied right away.

Does a hard pull hurt my credit score?

Yes. A hard pull inquiry will appear on your official credit report and can be listed as an error or negative item on your credit score, bringing it down. Dropping credit scores from negative credit history mean higher interest rates when you borrow.

Other factors decrease credit scores, such as missed/late payments or charge-offs and collections. However, it is extremely common for individuals to have negative marks on their credit history from hard pull inquiries.

Soft Inquiry Personal Loans

Now that you know what a soft credit check loan is, and if it’s the best option considering your own personal financial situation, here is a list of some of your best options!


Stilt offers soft pull inquiry loans with no cosigner requirements, no prepayment fees, and 24-hour decisions. Loan disbursements range anywhere from as low as $1,000 to as high as $25,000 depending on your needs. Stilt aims to help immigrants and the underserved who are particularly in need of personal loans. By taking into account the factors beyond the borrower’s credit score, Stilt can lend to those with no credit.

Personal Loans for Immigrants!

Check Loan Options

Loans for up to $25,000. No cosigner required. No prepayment penalty.

Whether you are studying abroad or living as a non-US citizen, Stilt can be a super easy and convenient option for any financial needs at an affordable cost. With a great support team and commitment to its clients, Stilt proves to be a very useful resource for personal loans that won’t hurt your credit score or break your bank.


LendingTree is a great resource for soft pull loan options. This lender compares various personal loan choices for you so that you can scroll through and decide which one best suits your needs. And a huge plus is that you only have to fill out one short form online, and your online results will follow.

This can be a great option for even just figuring out what types of loans are out there and what sort of interest rates you can expect.


This lender provides the opportunity for a wide range of loan volumes — from $2,000 to $35,000. They have really quick turnarounds for loan disbursements, which can be extremely helpful. Avant does require a minimum credit score of 580, so if you have some credit but don’t want to bring it down any further with hard pull loans, then this is a great option.


Opploans is a great lender that can help anyone — credit or no credit. You can check your approval without affecting your credit score, and they will work with you to find a loan that makes sense for your situation. This allows you to shop around for the best loan with the best rates.

OppLoans offers several affordable borrowing options and has great reviews among their clients.

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