Credit Card Glossary

Letter H

Hard Inquiry

A hard inquiry is essentially the exact same thing as a hard pull. When a consumer applies for a loan or a credit card, they authorize the lender to access their credit report. When the lender does so, a hard inquiry is performed which allows them to see all of the information available, not like the limitations of a soft pull. Hard inquiries have a slight negative impact on credit scores.

Hard Pull

The exact same thing as a hard inquiry as explained above. What can be added to it is that multiple quick hard pulls may not have as negative an impact on a credit score as several hard pulls or inquiries over a long period of time. The rationale is that loan shopping is common which explains several of these close together, but spread out multiple inquiries may be viewed as desperation which translates which rightly or wrongly is viewed as high risk.


As it relates to credit cards and even debit cards, a hold may be placed on an available balance or credit line if the complete amount of the transaction is unknown at the point of authorization. This commonly occurs with sales that a merchant will not know the outcome of until a later date as there is a "lack of supervision." This may be the case when filling up gas at a service station or in the event of a hotel stay where a consumer/cardholder may take advantage of paid amenities during their visit and be billed later.