You want to move out of your parent’s home to find a place of your own. The problem is paying for it. If you’re like most people, you can’t afford to hand over a wad of cash for a new house.

That means you’re going to have to shop around for a mortgage. Each time a lender checks your credit to see if you qualify for a loan, they do what’s known as a hard credit inquiry.

Most people don’t realize that these inquiries do have a tiny impact on your score. Keep reading to learn just how large that impact is.

What Is a Hard Credit Inquiry?

So, what is a hard credit inquiry? It’s a pull that occurs when a financial institution such as a bank needs to check your credit for one reason or another.

Nine times out of ten, this is when you apply for a mortgage or credit card. The lender needs to make sure that you can make good on your end by making your payments.

Most of these financial institutions have you sign on a dotted line to give them permission before they do a credit inquiry. Your score will take a small hit from the check.

How does a credit check affect your score? Not too badly it turns out. It may drop down a few points, but that’s about it. That is unless you authorize a bunch of checks at one time.

How Many Inquiries Is Too Many?

Unless your credit score is considerably low, you shouldn’t have to worry about one or two hard checks dragging your score down too far. It’s when you authorize a lot of them in a short timeframe when your score will start to suffer.

When lenders see all those applications on your credit report, they’ll start to get a little concerned. They’ll see it as a risky investment and turn you down for the loan. There are a few exceptions to this, student loans being one of them.

Disputing Hard Credit Checks

If you want to boost your credit score fast, you may be able to dispute a hard check and remove it from your record. The first step is to check your credit report.

If you see a hard credit check that you didn’t authorize on it, contact the credit bureau right away. It could be a sign of identity theft. If it’s determined that you, in fact, did permit the check, it will take about two years to fall off your report.

Don’t Get Overwhelmed by Hard Inquiries

Whenever you apply for a mortgage or credit card, the lender will do a hard credit inquiry. It shouldn’t hurt your score too much. The only time one of these checks makes a huge impact is when you apply for a large number of loans at once.

As long as you’re careful when you’re shopping around for a mortgage, you shouldn’t have to worry about your credit score taking a hit. For more ways to keep up with your money, visit the Finances section of our blog.