about an individual's credit history
that does not affect the person's credit score
. If an individual
checks his or her own credit
history, or if an employer
checks a job candidate's history, these are considered soft inquiries. On the other hand, if a lender
checks the history of a loan applicant
, this is considered a hard inquiry. It may temporarily lower the applicant's credit score because it appears that the individual is taking on additional credit obligations.