Do Property Managers Pull Hard or Soft Credit Inquiries?

Author: Lauren Ross


There’s a lot that goes into applying for an apartment. One aspect that concerns most – especially when applying to multiple communities – is if a property manager is going to pull a hard or soft credit inquiry during a background check.

Properties pull a credit check because they want to know if the applicant is reliable or not. What things do they look for in a reliable renter? Generally, a landlord or property manager will look at the applicant’s rental history, debt, bankruptcies, on-time payments and much more.  What is the difference between a hard credit inquiry and soft credit inquiry? Let’s find out:

Hard Credit Inquiry

A hard credit inquiry (or hard pull) is standard when a person is applying for some type of credit or loan. For example, you have just found the car of your dreams and need a loan for the difference – so you apply with a lender or credit bureau and they do a hard pull of your credit score. A hard pull is authorized by you and will affect your score. It’s rare that an apartment community will do a hard pull, but it has been done before.

Soft Credit Inquiry

Unlike hard inquiries, soft pulls may not need your authorization – but they also don’t affect your FICO score. Background checks, pre-approvals, and checking your own numbers are typical of a soft pull. It’s a request to view your score, that’s all.

Which one is pulled during the application process?

A majority of the time, property managers and landlords pull a soft check for their prospective tenants. However, hard pulls can happen. Because communities and apartments differ place to place, be upfront and ask which type of credit inquiry they’re going to be pulling.  If your credit is not where you think it should be, remember that it’s possible to rent with bad credit. And, there are some techniques to help build it up over time.

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