How Long Do Hard Inquiries Stay on Your Credit Report?

Hard inquiries stay on your credit report for 24 months. But, they only impact your score for the first 12 months. After that, you can take steps to remove them to improve your credit score.

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How Long Do Hard Inquiries Stay on Your Report?

Hard inquiries will stay on your credit report for up to two years. However, they will only have a negative impact on your credit score for the first 12 months. After 12 months, hard inquiries will no longer have an impact on your credit score. This is why it’s important to only apply for credit when you need it.

What is a hard inquiry?

A hard inquiry—sometimes called a hard pull—is a credit check resulting from an application you’ve made for new credit, such as a loan or a credit card. Hard inquiries appear on your credit report, and stay there for up to two years. They can slightly lower your credit score during that time, but as long as you manage your other credit activities responsibly, the ding should be temporary.

How long do hard inquiries stay on your report?

Hard inquiries remain on your credit report for up to two years, but they only impact your score for the first year. So, if you have a string of hard inquiries early in your credit history, they could hurt your score for a short time until the one-year mark rolls around. After that, the impact begins to drop off.

How can you remove a hard inquiry from your report?

The simplest way to remove a hard inquiry from your credit report is to wait it out. After two years, hard inquiries will automatically fall off your credit report. If you want to remove a hard inquiry before then, you can do so by disputing the inquiry with the credit bureau that generated it.

If you have an authorized user on your account, you can also ask them to remove the inquiry. Authorized users are not held responsible for paying the debts on an account, but they do have some control over the account’s activity. If an authorized user inquirers on an account, they can usually have that inquiry removed by asking the issuer to do so.

The Impact of Hard Inquiries

Hard inquiries will stay on your credit report for 24 months. However, hard inquiries only impact your credit score for the first 12 months. After that, they will only show up on your report but won’t impact your score. This is why it’s important to only apply for credit when you need it.

How do hard inquiries affect your credit score?

A hard inquiry is a record of the credit check that occurs when you apply for a new line of credit. Hard inquiries can stay on your credit report for up to two years, but they typically only affect your score for the first year. That’s because FICO®️, the company that creates the most popular credit scores, gives more weight to recent inquiries.

Hard inquiries only have a minor impact on your score—typically less than five points per inquiry. So if you have several inquiries on your report, it won’t have as big of an effect as if you had just one.

If you’re shopping around for a loan or credit card, the best way to keep hard inquiries from harming your score is to rate shop within a 14-day period. FICO®️ considers multiple inquiries within this window as just one inquiry when calculating your score.

How can you minimize the impact of hard inquiries on your credit score?

A hard inquiry—also called a hard pull—is a review of your credit report that occurs when you apply for new credit. A hard pull is performed by potential lenders when you apply for a new credit card, loan, or line of credit. Hard inquiries can stay on your credit report for up to two years and may cause your credit score to drop by a few points.

You can’t completely remove hard inquiries from your credit report, but you can take steps to minimize their impact:

Check your credit report regularly and dispute any inaccuracies.

Only apply for new credit when you need it.

If you’re shopping around for a loan or new credit card, do it within a 14-day period so all the inquiries will be counted as one.

Have a good mix of different types of credit—revolving, installment, and open accounts—to demonstrate to lenders that you can manage different types of credit responsibly.

Keep your balances low and make timely payments on all your accounts to demonstrate that you’re using credit responsibly.

How to Avoid Hard Inquiries

What are some common reasons for hard inquiries?

There are a few common reasons you may see a hard inquiry on your credit report, including applying for a new credit card, taking out a personal loan, or opening a new line of credit. However, there are a few other reasons that can trigger a hard inquiry, like if you’re trying to rent an apartment and the landlord does a hard pull on your credit.

While soft inquiries won’t impact your credit score, each hard inquiry can ding your score by a few points—so if you’re trying to avoid any negative impact on your credit, it’s best to limit the number of hard inquiries on your report.

How can you avoid hard inquiries?

There are a few ways to avoid hard inquiries on your credit report. The first is to simply stay on top of your credit report and monitor any changes. You can also request a free copy of your credit report from each of the three major credit bureaus once per year.

Another way to avoid hard inquiries is to only apply for new credit when you absolutely need it. If you can get by without opening a new account, do so. Finally, if you are shopping around for a loan or credit card, be sure to do so within a short period of time. This is sometimes called a “rate shopping” period and it typically lasts about two weeks. Any hard inquiries made within this period will only count as one inquiry on your credit report.

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