How long do hard credit inquiries stay on your credit report? That’s a great question, and one that we get asked a lot. The answer, unfortunately, is not as straightforward as we would like.
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Hard Inquiries Stay on Your Report for 24 Months
Hard inquiries stay on your credit report for 24 months, but only impact your credit score for one year.
And even though they may remain on your report for up to two years, hard inquiries typically only affect your credit scores for one year. That’s because FICO® and VantageScore® scoring models count hard inquiries as a single negative event in their scoring calculation regardless of when they occurred.
Still, it’s important to note that while hard inquiries won’t necessarily ding your scores right away, too many of them could signal to lenders that you’re a higher-risk borrower — especially if they come in a short period of time.
Hard Inquiries Affect Your Credit Score for 12 Months
Hard inquiries can stay on your credit report for up to 12 months. Each time you apply for credit, a lender will check your report and this will leave a hard inquiry. Too many hard inquiries in a short period of time can have a negative impact on your credit score.
You Can Get a Free Copy of Your Credit Report Once a Year
You can get a free copy of your credit report every 12 months from each of the three nationwide credit reporting companies — Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. You can also get a free copy any time you’re denied credit, insurance or employment based on information in your report.
To get your free annual report, visit annualcreditreport.com or call 1-877-322-8228. You’ll need to provide your name, address, date of birth, Social Security number and other personal information to verify your identity.
If you prefer, you can get your free credit report from Equifax and TransUnion by contacting them directly.
Equifax: 1-800-685-1111 or equifax.com
TransUnion: 1-800-888-4213 or transunion.com
When you request your free report, you’ll have the option to sign up for a trial membership in one of the credit monitoring services offered by the credit reporting company. If you choose this option, the company will periodically send you updated reports so that you can monitor any changes in your credit profile. Some companies also offer other services, such as fraud alerts and identity theft protection.
You Can Dispute Hard Inquiries That Are Incorrect
If you find a hard inquiry on your credit report that is not yours, you can dispute the inquiry with the credit bureau. According to Experian, you can file a dispute by mail or online.
When you dispute a hard inquiry, the credit bureau will investigate your claim and remove the hard inquiry from your credit report if they find that it is indeed incorrect. You can also file a dispute with the company that made the inquiry if you believe the hard inquiry was made in error.
It’s important to note that you cannot file a dispute with the credit bureau if you simply don’t like the hard inquiry or if you think it will hurt your credit score. Only file a dispute if you believe the hard inquiry is incorrect and should be removed from your credit report.
You Can Remove Hard Inquiries After 2 Years
If you have recently applied for a loan or credit card, you may be wondering how long hard inquiries stay on your credit report. Hard inquiries are made when lenders check your credit in order to approve a new account or loan, and they can stay on your report for up to two years.
While hard inquiries can have a small negative impact on your credit score, they will only affect your score for a short period of time. After two years, hard inquiries will no longer be visible on your credit report and will not impact your credit score.
If you are concerned about the number of hard inquiries on your credit report, there are several things you can do to minimize their impact. First, make sure that all of the inquiries are accurate and up-to-date. If you find an inquiry that is more than two years old, you can request that it be removed from your report.
In addition, try to avoid applying for new loans or credit cards in the months leading up to a major financial event, such as buying a home or car. If you do need to apply for new credit, spread out your applications so that they are not all made within a short period of time. By taking these steps, you can help ensure that hard inquiries have minimal impact on your credit score.