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Too Many Credit Inquiries on Your Credit Report? Here's What You Can Do to Remove Them

April 26, 2016

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Whenever you check your credit report, you'll find a section titled "Credit Inquiries" or "Regular Inquiries." These inquiries are made by organizations that pulled your credit report – and they can remain on your report for up to two years. I'm sure you're already wondering if they have any connection with your credit score (they do), and what you can do about them (read on to find out)!

Credit inquiries are of two kinds – hard and soft.

Hard inquiries occur when you grant a lender permission to pull your credit report with the hope that you'll be able to secure a loan of some kind, such as car loans, credit cards, home loans, etc.

Soft inquiries occur when you or your existing creditors check your credit report. They may also occur when a business checks your report to gauge if you would be inclined to be interested in their products or services.

While soft inquiries have no effect on your credit score, a hard inquiry may pull down your score by 5-10 points. The chart that follows shows the breakdown of the various factors that comprise your credit score. Admittedly, 10 points may not sound like a lot, but they can certainly make a difference if you're looking to make a credit-based purchase.

credit inquiries graph

  
Here's what you can do if you wish you remove a hard inquiry on your credit report.

You can dispute a hard inquiry either with the associated creditor or with the credit bureaus. If you wish to approach the creditor, you may request that the lender remove the inquiry as a goodwill gesture. Alternatively, you may dispute the inquiry on the grounds that you never authorized it. However, keep in mind that the latter option will work only if the creditor does not have any documentation or proof that you gave them permission to check your accounts.

In order to dispute the inquiry with the credit bureaus, there's only one approach that you can follow. You need to ask the credit bureau to remove the inquiry stating that you never authorized it and that the creditor did not have permissible purpose. According to the Fair Credit Reporting Act, Section 604, a creditor shouldn’t have access to a consumer's credit information unless the individual himself gives written permission, or unless credit access is court-ordered or requested by a state or local government agency in relation to child support.

Removing inquiries may make sense if you have previously been a victim of identity theft. Disputing inquiries is also advisable if a company has checked your report without permission, as this implies that the inquiry might lead to future identity theft.

You should be aware that disputing an inquiry through the credit bureaus will result in a fraud alert being imposed on your credit. A fraud alert lasts for 90 days and tells lenders that they must verify your identity before issuing any form of credit. Thus if you're looking to get some sort of credit approval when disputing a credit inquiry, be prepared to get a letter or a phone call asking for hard copies of your personal info.

Before disputing inquiries, make sure you have a copy of your credit report from all three bureaus. Some organizations will only pull one bureau, whereas others may pull all three. If you're only disputing inquiries on Equifax, for example, your scores with TransUnion and Experian may still suffer.

Disputing credit inquiries can be a lot of hard work, but in some cases, it is certainly worth the effort. There are professional credit restoration services that can help with this, and give you a much better chance at success. At Fund&Grow, we always refer people to Kaydem Credit Help. They are reasonably priced and really go the extra mile for their clients. They have been providing stellar service to our clients for over six years.


Ari Page Ari Page is the CEO of Fund&Grow. He resides in Spring Hill, Florida with his wife and two children.

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