Every time you apply for credit from a lender or credit card company, they will ask to review your credit history.
For example, if you repeatedly miss bill payments, your lender might assume that you’ll do so again in the future. You can end up having your loan application rejected or paying a higher interest rate as a result. The lender must request your credit file from the credit agencies in order to obtain the information it requires, which results in a hard inquiry. Your credit report will then reflect that query.
People with little credit history or few credit accounts are more likely to see a negative effect from hard queries on their credit scores. This means that a hard inquiry can lower your credit score more for people who are just starting to develop their credit than it would for someone with a long credit history.