How Long Do Inquiries Stay On Your Credit Report?

How long do inquiries stay on your credit report and impact your score? We answer this question and more in this credit report blog.

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How long do hard inquiries stay on your credit report?

Hard inquiries will stay on your credit report for 24 months. Inquiries are a necessary part of applying for a loan or credit card, but if you want to avoid having too many hard inquiries on your report, it’s best to space them out.

How long do soft inquiries stay on your credit report?

Mostsoft inquirieswill remain on your credit report for two years. Soft inquiries occur when you or your current creditors check your credit report. These inquiries are not related to new applications for loans or lines of credit, and they have no effect on your credit score.

How to remove inquiries from your credit report?

If you have inquiries on your credit report, you’re probably wondering how to remove them. And rightly so: Inquiries can stay on your report for up to two years, and each one can ding your score by a few points.

Fortunately, you don’t have to wait two years for them to disappear. Here are four ways to remove inquiries from your credit report—and improve your credit score—sooner.

1. Wait 12 months
The first way to remove an inquiry is also the slowest and most obvious: Wait a year for it to fall off your report naturally. After 12 months, the inquiry will no longer show up on your credit report and will no longer impact your credit score.

2. Send a “goodwill” letter
If an inquiry is harming your credit score but is more than 12 months old, you can try sending what’s called a goodwill letter to the company that made the inquiry. In this letter, you simply explain why the inquiry is unfair and request that it be removed from your report as a gesture of good faith.

3. Dispute the inquiry with the credit bureau If you believe an inquiry was placed on your report in error—say, because you never authorized it in the first place—you can dispute it with the relevant credit bureau (Experian, Equifax or TransUnion). The credit bureau will then investigate and, if they agree that the inquiry is incorrect, they’ll remove it from your report. This process may sound complicated but Experian makes it easy with their online dispute center; you simply submit your dispute online and Experian will take care of the rest.

4. Negotiate with creditors If all else fails or if you have a large number of inquiries on your report, try negotiating with creditors directly by calling them up and asking them to remove inquiries in exchange for other concessions—like agreeing to pay off overdue balances or sign up for automatic payments. While this method isn’t guaranteed to work, it’s worth a try if you have several inquiries dragging down your score.

How to dispute an inquiry on your credit report?

If you find an inquiry on your credit report that you don’t recognize, it could be the result of identity theft. In this case, you should dispute the inquiry with the credit bureau.

If you have authorized the inquiry, but you don’t think it’s reflected accurately on your report, you can also file a dispute.

Inquiries remain on your credit report for two years, but they only impact your score for the first year.

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