- 1 How To Remove Credit Inquiries From Your Credit Report
- 2 How To Remove Inquiries From Credit Report Sample Letter
- 3 Remove Credit Inquiries From Your Credit Reports
- 4 How to remove inquiries from credit report sample letter
- 4.1 What’s the difference between hard inquiries and soft inquiries?
- 4.2 What if I have a hard inquiry on my credit report that I did not authorize?
- 4.3 How do credit inquiries affect my credit score?
- 4.4 How long do inquiries stay on my credit report?
- 4.5 Credit Inquiry Removal Letter Sample
- 4.6 What else should you include with your credit inquiry removal letter?
- 4.7 Do you have other negative items affecting your credit scores?
How To Remove Credit Inquiries From Your Credit Report
Step 1: The first thing you are going to want to do is order your credit reports and check the inquiry section, which is generally near the bottom of the report. It is important to remember that soft inquiries , such as those that lead you to be pre-approved for offers or services will not affect your credit rating in most cases. As such are you going to want to focus on those inquiries by organizations that will actually grant you credit instead. You will ideally recognize the names of these organizations, but now and then you might come across those that are a mystery to you as well.
Secret Inquiry Removal Strategies
When I was removing my inquires, 2 out of 12 did not respond in the 30 day limit, and they were Credit bureaus not creditors, so I sent them the certified mail return receipts and proof and they had no choice but to remove the inquiries.
How To Remove Inquiries From Credit Report Sample Letter
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Remove Credit Inquiries From Your Credit Reports
Last Updated: March 21, 2017
Credit inquiries are a hot topic in credit repair these days as it has become more widely known that it's possible to remove them from your credit reports and, in turn, improve credit scores. As you review your credit report, you will notice a section at the end of the report called "Credit Inquiries" or "Regular Inquiries." These inquiries were made by companies who pulled your credit report, and these inquiries will remain on your credit report for two years. You may not recognize their names — and you may have no idea why they pulled your credit — so it may seem a bit unnerving. Fear not. We will show you how to remove unauthorized credit inquiries from your credit reports. And, we will let you know which credit inquires hurt your credit score and which ones don't.
Is it Important to Remove Credit Inquiries?
Many people tend to overfocus on removing inquiries when their reports are full of late payments, collection accounts, or even a foreclosure. In these cases, you might want to hold off on your efforts to remove inquiries until after you have successfully removed some of the bigger problems on your credit report. But, if you are tackling your other credit issues, it doesn't hurt to tackle this problem, too. On a scale from 1 to 10, with 10 being the worst thing on your report, credit inquiries are a mere 1 on the problem scale.
Every time you apply for credit and the credit grantor does a credit check on you, a credit inquiry is placed on your file. Even if you receive a credit card offer in the mail and you respond, your credit will almost certainly be checked and a credit inquiry will be added to your credit report.
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- A hard inquiry occurs when you applied for new credit, like a credit card, or submit a loan application for a car or home. A hard inquiry can affect your credit score.
- A soft inquiry occurs when an existing creditor pulls your credit to see what your current credit situation is or when a potential creditor pulls your credit to pre-approve you for credit that you have not actually applied for yet. Pulling your own credit is also considered a soft inquiry. A soft credit inquiry does not affect your credit score.
Will Too Many Credit Inquiries Affect Your Credit Score?
- Hard credit inquiries are bad because too many of them can indicate to a creditor that you're "credit hungry" and may be in financial trouble.
- Worse yet, the creditor has reason to believe that you received many of the credit lines that are showing as inquiries, and that many of those credit lines have not yet appeared on your credit report.
- Too many recent inquiries indicate to a potential credit grantor that your debt-to-income ratio may be much higher than you say.
Step-by-Step Procedure for Removing a Credit Inquiry
All credit inquiries should come off your credit report after two years. And only hard inquiries made within the past 12 months will be included in your credit score. If you're not willing to wait, you may take these steps:
First, find out which credit inquiries are getting in your way by ordering all three of your credit reports. When your reports arrive, look toward the end of your credit report to find the inquiries. Some of the inquiries are only promotional and will not be shown to prospective credit grantors. You need not worry about those. Identify only the inquiries that are shown to credit grantors (i.e., hard inquiries). You should recognize some of these as places where you applied for credit, but others may be a complete mystery to you.
Find the address for each creditor. Experian will list addresses for each but TransUnion and Equifax reports will not. Match your Experian with your TransUnion and Equifax reports. You should be able to use the same addresses on the inquirers that are listed on Experian. If some of the inquirers don't show up on Experian but do show up on either TransUnion or Equifax, you will have to call the credit bureau to get their address. It is almost impossible to get a live person on the telephone at TransUnion, but Equifax has an 800 number listed at the top of their reports. If you have an inquirer listed on your TransUnion report and you can't reach them by phone, you might try calling the 800 directory and request the 800 number for the inquiring creditor.
Once you have collected all of the addresses for each inquiring creditor on each credit report, you are ready for the next step.
Prepare letters to each inquiring creditor asking them to remove their inquiry. The Fair Credit Reporting Act allows only authorized inquiries to appear on the consumer credit report. You must challenge whether the inquiring creditor had proper authorization to pull your credit file.
Some of your creditors may provide documentation that a credit inquiry was authorized by you. Read the authorization that you signed very carefully. If there is any ambiguity, you can write back and argue that the inquirer's authorization form was too complicated and not easily understood by the layman. You can threaten to contact the State Banking Commission and complain about a deceptive and unclear authorization form if they don't remove the inquiry.
Some creditors will try to ignore your challenge. Be sure to send each letter Certified Mail Return Receipt Requested and keep close track of the time that you sent the letter. If the inquiring creditor doesn't respond within about 30 days, you will have ample grounds to call the inquiring creditor and demand some action. At that point, it's almost irrelevant whether or not you authorized the inquiry. Now the issue becomes the creditor's lack of response to a consumer dispute. Be sure to hold your ground. Demand that the inquiry be removed immediately or you will complain to the State Banking Commission or similar authorities.
Many of your inquiring creditors may simply agree to delete the inquiry as a courtesy or because they cannot, or will not, verify your authorization. That's the goal. Remember, it is not likely that you will need all of your credit inquiries removed, just enough of them to increase your credit score.
How to remove inquiries from credit report sample letter
Whenever a creditor views your credit history, it will appear as an inquiry on your credit report. Too many inquiries can lower your Credit Score, which may cause your credit application to be denied.
You should know that sometimes a business can access your Credit Report without your permission. However, unauthorized inquiries can be removed from your credit history.
Dispute the unauthorized inquiries with the three credit bureaus. To begin the process, you will need to submit a formal dispute form to each credit bureau. You are required to submit a separate dispute form for each unauthorized inquiry you are disputing.
Wait for the credit bureaus to contact you. It may take up to 45 days for the credit bureaus to investigate your disputes. The credit bureaus are required by law to contact the creditor or company listed on your dispute form, to verify whether or not you gave them permission to view your credit history. If the disputed inquiries were indeed unauthorized, the credit bureaus will remove them from your credit report.
Give the credit bureaus at least 30 days to remove the unauthorized inquiries from your credit report. After 30 days, order a current copy of your credit report from the three credit bureaus and make sure each report has been properly updated.
Your Street Address
Your City, State ZIP Code
Credit Bureau Name
Their Street Address
Their City, State ZIP Code
Dear Credit Bureau,
This letter is a formal complaint that you are reporting inaccurate and incomplete credit information.
I am distressed that you have included the below information in my credit profile and have failed to maintain reasonable procedures in your operations to assure maximum possible accuracy in the credit reports you publish.
Credit reporting laws ensure that bureaus report only 100% accurate credit information. Every step must be taken to assure the information reported is completely accurate and correct.
The following information therefore needs to be re-investigated. I respectfully request to be provided proof that these inquiries were in fact authorized with an instrument bearing my signature, and for legitimate business purposes. Failing that, the unauthorized inquiry must be deleted from the report as soon as possible:
CREDITOR AGENCY, account xxx-xxxx-xxx
The listed inquiry was without authorization, and for no legitimate business purposes. As such, it is a very serious error in reporting. Please delete this misleading information, and supply a corrected credit profile to all creditors who have received a copy within the last 6 months, or the last 2 years for employment purposes.
Additionally, please provide the name, address, and telephone number of each credit grantor or other subscriber.
Under federal law, you have 30 days to complete your re-investigation. Be advised that the description of the procedure used to determine the accuracy and completeness of the information is hereby requested as well, to be provided within 15 days of the completion of your re-investigation.
If you’ve recently checked your credit report for the first time (or even the first time in a while), you may have noticed an ‘Inquiries’ section towards the bottom of the report. In most cases, this section has minimal impact on your credit. But the way you manage your credit, particularly the way you apply for it, can end up making a big difference if not facilitated correctly.
Learning about inquiries on your credit report can also help you spot any potential credit fraud. Read on to find out everything you need to know about what credit inquiries are, how they affect you, and how to get rid of them.
Table of Contents
What’s the difference between hard inquiries and soft inquiries?
Each time a bank or insurance company receives an application from you, an inquiry is made on your credit report. They have been authorized by you and are called “hard inquiries.” Hard inquiries result in a reduction of your overall credit score.
When a credit card company or mortgage provider goes through hundreds of thousands of credit reports by making inquiries for their marketing departments, they are called “soft inquiries”. Those inquiries don’t affect your credit score, even though they show up on the credit report.
Pre-approvals and pre-qualifications initiated on your own usually also only constitute a soft inquiry. To be sure, however, check with the creditor before agreeing to one.
Sometimes companies and individuals make hard inquiries on your credit report that were not authorized by you. They can affect your credit score negatively. In those cases, there is a way to have the inquiry removed and to improve your credit score as a result. It’s called a “credit inquiry removal letter” or a “credit inquiry dispute letter.”
Even if a hard credit inquiry on your credit report is “questionable” and you are not sure if you made it or not, you should dispute it as the burden of proof is on the credit bureaus and your creditors. They must prove that you did. If not, the credit inquiry must be removed from your credit report.
How do credit inquiries affect my credit score?
Credit inquiries affect a credit score at different times and in different ways. When you go out looking for a new car, you might sign two or three applications for credit from various banks, auto finance companies, or credit unions. They all make inquiries into your credit and by signing the application, you authorize them to do so.
Credit bureaus understand this is simply a consumer out shopping for the best rate they can get. The formulas the credit bureaus utilize can track this data and, once again, as long as the activity takes place within a short period of time, your credit score isn’t affected. But if you take too long and shop around, the resulting inquiries can affect your credit score negatively.
The bureaus allow for this activity and don’t deduct credit score points for each individual inquiry when this occurs, as long as the inquiries are all made within a 45-day window, they group them together and count them as one inquiry.
While having too many credit inquiries can hurt your score, they are the smallest scoring factor. In fact, each inquiry typically deducts about five points from your credit score.
We find that most people spend too much time worrying about credit inquiries when they have worst negative items on their credit report that have a much bigger impact on their credit score. But if you apply for credit cards every single month, either out of necessity or as a rewards bonus hack, you can really start to cause some damage.
How long do inquiries stay on my credit report?
All credit inquiries are listed on your credit report for two years. After that, they should fall off naturally. On the plus side, an inquiry only affects your actual credit score for one year. Once that period is up, your score should rebound a few points.
Again, if you just have a few inquiries listed on your credit report, it’s no big deal. But if you have a long list of them, you might want to try getting one or more of them removed. This is especially true if you don’t remember authorizing the inquiry. To dispute an inquiry, you must contact each credit bureau that lists it. Check out the next section for an example letter.
Credit Inquiry Removal Letter Sample
We have prepared this sample letter to send to a credit bureau requesting an investigation of an unauthorized inquiry appearing on your credit report. Be sure to send via certified mail rather than standard mail delivery to get a faster response and ensure your letter is received.
Try to make the letter appear more personal than this form letter, but make sure to include all the information. The sample letter should look like:
RE: Request for Investigation of Unauthorized Inquiry
Dear Sir or Madam,
I checked my personal credit report, which I acquired from your organization on [insert date of report] and I noticed an unauthorized inquiry had been made.
I contacted [inquiry source’s name], who conducted the inquiry and asked them to remove their credit inquiry from my credit profile.
I request that you initiate an investigation into [inquiry source’s name] inquiry on my credit report to determine who authorized the inquiry. If, once your investigation is complete, you find my allegation to be true, please remove the unauthorized inquiry and send me an updated copy of my credit report at the address listed above.
If you find the inquiry referenced above to be valid, please send me a description of the procedures used in your investigation within 15 business days of the completion of the investigation.
Thank you for your assistance in this matter,
What else should you include with your credit inquiry removal letter?
Be sure to include a copy of the credit report page evidencing the inquiry. It also doesn’t hurt to highlight the section for the credit bureau, just so there’s no mistake. Otherwise, you run the risk of delaying the process and adding additional communications. Take the extra step ahead of time to save potential complications further down the road.
Do you have other negative items affecting your credit scores?
If you have other negative items on your credit report or don’t want to bother disputing credit inquiries on your own, you can retain a firm that can do the work much more efficiently and effectively for you.
A professional credit repair firm performs these tasks hundreds of times a day. However, when investigating credit repair companies, be sure to look for a firm with many years experience and many happy clients.
Check out our Lexington Law Firm Review to find out more about the company that has over 26 years of experience and hundreds of thousands of happy clients or call (800) 220-0084 for a free consultation to see how they can improve your credit score.
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