Soft Pulls Training: Everything You Need to Know

Get a full breakdown of soft credit checks, what they are, why you should use them, and how they can help your business achieve growth.
Tara Andrews


So, you're interested in receiving training on how to  pull your customer's credit using their name and their address only.  You're probably a lender or a broker, or you work in some kind of industry that requires your customer to get financed. And, because of that, you want to know your customer's credit score at the beginning of the sales  cycle, that way you know whether or not they would be approved if they applied.  What our  software does is deliver you just that, your customer's credit score and their full credit report using  just their name and address only-- the purpose of this training is to show you how you can do that.

About Us

When we first started developing the technology for soft pulls back in 2017 we primarily served the auto industry.  And, if  you've ever financed a car through a dealership, you know that it takes a long time to get a deal done,  When you get to the dealership, you're most interested in knowing what the payments are going be for a particular financing plan.  Generally, the salesperson will require you to do a hard pull and fill out a credit application in order to know how much your payments will be.  And then there's this back and forth on the  dealership side, you have to sit down with the sales manager, and then he has to go talk to the financing guy, and you go back and forth forth for hours, only to find out that the payment is not right. Or, you know you have good credit, but you don't want do a hard pull, you just want to know what they payments are.

Well, YOUR customers  are probably thinking the same thing.  They simply want to know how much their payments are going to be but, like the auto dealer, you probably have to have them apply first.  It shouldn't have to be that complicated, right?  That's how we got our start, we needed to help solve this problem for auto dealers on how they could speed up their sales cycle.  To help solve this problem, we've introduced soft pulls.  

Our Solution

Soft pulls help to bridge the gap in the sales cycle.  Now, the  customer simply gives the dealer their name, their home address, and the permission to do a soft pull, With that simple information, the dealer can then offer terms based on their credit report and their FICO score without  harming the credit score, without putting a hard inquiry on the credit score, AND without needing their  social and all this intrusive information. And, it helps the customer because they know their payment plan, and then it also helps the auto dealer because the salesperson won't have to spend three to four hours on somebody that in the end, won't even qualify.  So these soft pulls, they really help you find out at the beginning of the sales cycle, whether or not someone will be approved.

Industries We Serve

Back in 2017, when we were only serving the auto industry and we were doing a lot of cold calling, we were trying to get more deals, and we were doing okay but knew that there had to be more people out there need this type of software.  And then we heard about digital advertising and that changed everything.  After posting a Google ad targeted towards auto dealers, prompting them to request more information about soft pulls, we started getting all these calls from random  companies across all types of industries, from solar, to business loans, even dentists. They'd call us and we'd inquire as to why the need soft pulls, and they would start telling us their story.  

Like, this one solar guy for instance, explained that he had a whole team of door knockers in the field and that they'd spend so much  time working on a deal, they'd have to drive all over the place and spend two to three weeks talking to the same client and then finally find out that the guy is not even qualified.  And, so they too, wanna know their customers' credit at the beginning of the sales cycle, that way they know if they should spend time with the client.

Or, people who do business loans, they used to have the customer submit a credit report so they could review it and know where to send the deal, but sometimes the customer would never submit the credit report, and so then the business loan people would just shotgun the deal out to four or five lenders, and the customer would end up getting like five different hard pulls on their report.  So, this business loan company, definitely needs to know the customer's credit score so they know where to send the loan.

And the list goes on and on, we've found that there are so many different industries that need soft pulls.  And they all have one thing in common, they need to know the customer's credit right at the beginning of the sales cycles, so they know if  they should spend time on this customer or not.  Today, we serve mortgage brokers, contractors, real estate agents, companies that do personal loans and business loans, auto dealers, we can serve most businesses who are lending money or administering services upfront who need to ensure that their client is able to adhere to lending terms.

Soft Pull vs. Hard Pull Difference

So, you might be wondering, what's the difference between a soft pull and a hard pull?  Well, let's start by saying, it isn't the data-- hard pulls and soft pulls both show the full, up-to-date credit report and score.  The difference, is the borrower's intent.  See, with a soft pull the borrower is saying, "if I did apply, would I  be approved?"  They're not actually asking for the loan right now, they're checking to see if in the case they did want to submit a formal application, if they'd be approved or what they'd be approved for.  So, by doing a soft pull, you can find out the terms and the exact credit score, so you can get the deal done.

You've seen this a lot, if you've ever shopped for a credit card online, like on a Capital One or American Express, it says, "get pre­qualified, will not impact your credit  score" and then you put in your information and they say you'd be best suitable for the gold offer or the silver offer or the double points offer etc.  In the past, this technology was exclusively used by the big players like Capital One and  American Express but what we did was develop this technology and package it to bring to the middle market, to the small  businesses and medium sized businesses.  Now, companies of all sizes have access to the same exact technology as some of the largest lenders.  

How it Works

The credit bureaus create data, and that's all they really do, they're data aggregators, but they rely resellers like us to make technology to serve different niches and deliver credit reports.  So that's where we come in, we are the software, we buy the data from Experian, TransUnion and Equifax, and we enable you to run soft credit checks through our platform.  

We help you to overcome the burden of not knowing your customer's credit, we deliver you your customer's full credit report and FICO score using their name and address only.  Now, you might be wondering, how can you do that with just a name and address only?" It's simple really, the name AND address serves as a unique identifier, just like a social security number but without having to worry about the sensitive nature associated with that information.  

We have an application programming interface (API) with the credit bureaus that enable us to pull credit using name and address only.  This operates on a couple of assumptions. The first being that the name and the address are only associated with one person. So if there's a John Doe Jr. and a John Doe Sr. living in the same house, then we would need the date of birth or the social security number to access the credit report of the John Doe in question.  Or, if someone had gotten married and  they gave you their new last name, we'd need their date of birth or their social security number.  Or, let's say someone had moved and they gave you their name and new home address, but the new address wasn't associated with any accounts on their credit report, then you'd need the DOB or SSN.  

While there are rare instances (like those outlined above) that would require you to obtain additional information to pull someone's credit report, the overwhelming majority of the time you'll be able to successfully access the report using name and address only. The reason this is so important is because people have been trained not to give up their social security number, especially with the rise in identity theft and compromised data.

Benefits of Soft Pulls

Imagine if you're cold calling, selling home re­finances, or whatever it is, but you haven't built up a rapport with the customer.  Before, if you wanted to qualify a customer, you'd need to do a hard credit pull using their social security number but chances are they wouldn't be willing to give that information because you're a stranger, right?  Makes sense.  But imagine it now, with soft credit checks, that customer is going to be a lot more willing to share their name and address to see if they qualify, knowing that there won't be any negative impacts to them in doing so.

This is HUGE!  If the majority of people would've walked away because they didn't want to give their social security number or apply with a hard pull, you can now overcome these barriers and turn them into ACTUAL borrowers and ACTUAL prospects.  You're going to convert more leads, plain and simple.  Try and envision what your business would look like if you were able to transform most of your no's into yeses?  

We've found that by only asking for a name and a home address increases the conversion rate by 300% online.  If you're shopping online for a loan, you have two options, one is fill out just your name and your home address, the other is put in your name, home address, date of birth, social security number, occupation, employment history, and this whole litany of information.  Between those two choices, you're going to chose the name and address application over the other one, right?  You're not alone, the name and address soft pull inquiry converts over 300% more than the traditional hard pull application.  That's 300% more viable leads and and I'm sure you infer what that would mean for your bottom line.  At the end of the day, the opportunity cost of not having soft pulls apart of your sales process is something that, frankly, no one can afford to bear.  

How Soft Pulls Transform Businesses

Let's talk about how businesses from different industries are using this.  It all starts with consent, you have to get the customer's consent, you can do that over the phone on a recorded line, or online, or you can even do it using a paper application if you're in-person with the customer.  

Over the phone works really well when you do appointment setting, so let's say a company that's in the home improvement industry is going to send somebody out to a potential job where the client will require financing.  With soft pulls. the company can run the client's credit report, with consent, using name and address to find out whether or not they would be approved. Companies can phrase this by asking if they can run a soft credit check on the customer so they can so they can give them the exact terms and an exact quote.

Now, in order to get consent over the phone, you need a recorded line, that's why a lot of companies will have the consent clause on a written paper application or digital consent form that can be stored.  Capturing consent can be easily incorporated into normal business practices, you can do it on appointment confirmations before you send them out or apart of your inquiry forms or onboarding process.  

Businesses that provide re­financing for Home loans, for example, can utilize soft pulls as a lead generation and pre-qualify tool in their email marketing campaigns.  They probably want to run a credit check that's going to show a potential borrower's mortgage and how much they owe on their home.  Well, the company probably already has the customer's name and home address, they can send them an email has a "get pre­qualified" call-to-action button with a link to the company's website that has a pre-qual and consent form embed into the website.  So now, instead of asking for a hard pull application on your website, you can just embed a soft pull application with just their name and address on the form, get consent at the bottom when they click I agree, and then you can run a soft credit check on them.  This is great for doing lead generation, instead of just generating the lead from  Facebook or Google, you can now generate the lead and also get their full credit report and  their FICO score.

What Our Customers are Saying

So, you can see how different businesses use soft pulls in different ways, right? Take one of our best clients, Jason from Capwell Funding, a business loan company. He's been using our product for  years and has been able to scale his business because of it.  Before he used soft pulls and he had to rely on the client to provide a PDF of their credit report, which would come from various credit monitoring sites and could take up to two weeks of back-and-forth trying to obtain the report from the client.  

But, with soft pulls, Jason and his team at Capwell Funding are able to acquire the client's credit report almost instantaneously.  They simply need to collect a few data points from the client and then they are able to pull the report right then and there.  And, Jason's found that the soft pull data is deeper and more comprehensive than most credit monitoring platforms.  By checking credit internally, he's been able to provide an accurate pre­-qual and not have to rely on the client to provide their credit.

"I almost didn't believe it. Even after using it for a little bit, I still wondered,  how long is this gonna last? How long am I gonna be able to do this? 'cause this is amazing, this is... I keep using the term, but it's game-changing!  We've been able to do a lot more deals with soft pulls because of the scalability.  I really couldn't imagine anyone that needs to review credit not having it. I don't know  how you would really be effective, how you would compete in the marketplace without soft pull. If you're a business that needs to review your customer's credit, I highly recommend iSoftpull."

Jason |  Capwell Funding  |  iSoftpull Customer

Let's Talk

We serve all types of businesses, from solar to business loans, auto, mortgage, the list goes on, but what all these people have in common is that they all want to pull credit for financing. There's lots of other industries, like bankruptcy attorneys or credit repair or tenant screening, and, while they too have a reason to pull credit, we are unable to provide our service to these industries at the moment. We specialize in financing and loans, net 30, and in-­house funding. So, if you want to pull your customer's credit for the purpose of checking to see if they can payback a loan, we can totally work with you!  

Hopefully, you got a lot out of this training!  Now you know what soft credit checks are, how different industries are using them, and how they will transform your business.  

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