How to Get Hard Inquiries Off Your Credit Report

If you have hard inquiries on your credit report, you’re probably wondering how to get them off. Here’s what you need to know.

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What is a hard inquiry?

A hard inquiry is a type of credit pull that lenders do when you apply for a new line of credit, such as a credit card or loan. Hard inquiries stay on your report for two years, but only impact your score for the first year.

A single hard inquiry generally won’t have much of an impact on your score—unless you have several in a short period of time. In that case, it could ding your score by a few points.

Hard inquiries can happen when you:
-Apply for a new credit card
-Apply for a new auto loan
-Apply for a mortgage
-Try to rent an apartment

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

How do hard inquiries affect your credit score?

A hard inquiry is when a lender checks your credit report to make a lending decision. Hard inquiries can negatively affect your credit score and stay on your report for up to two years.

If you’re shopping for a loan or credit card, it’s best to do all of your rate shopping within a 30-day period. This is because multiple hard inquiries from rate shopping for a single loan or credit card within a 30-day period will only count as one inquiry when your credit score is calculated.

You can get hard inquiries off your report by asking the lender to remove them (if they were made in error), dispute them with the credit bureaus, or wait for them to fall off naturally after two years.

If you have too many hard inquiries on your report, it can signal to lenders that you’re desperate for credit or may be engaging in risky borrowing behavior. To improve your chances of getting approved for new credit, make sure to space out your loan and credit card applications, and only apply for new credit when you really need it.

How long do hard inquiries stay on your credit report?

Hard inquiries stay on your credit report for 24 months. However, after 12 months, they will no longer have an impact on your credit score. If you have more than one hard inquiry on your credit report, you may be able to get some of them removed by dispute.

How to get hard inquiries off your credit report

There are two ways to get hard inquiries off your credit report. You can either wait for them to fall off naturally after two years, or you can disputed the inquiries with the credit bureau. If you have a good reason for disputing the inquiry, the credit bureau will remove it from your report.

Request a goodwill adjustment

If you have a history of good credit behavior, you may be able to have the hard inquiry removed from your credit report by requesting a “goodwill adjustment” from the creditor. Basically, you’re asking the creditor to remove the hard inquiry because you’ve been a good customer and it’s not an accurate reflection of your creditworthiness.

To request a goodwill adjustment, simply contact the creditor in question and explain your situation. If they agree to remove the hard inquiry, they will notify the credit bureaus and your report will be updated accordingly.

It’s important to note that you can only request a goodwill adjustment from the creditor that actually made the hard inquiry. So if you have multiple hard inquiries on your report, you’ll need to contact each one individually and make a separate request.

Dispute the inquiry with the credit bureau

If you find a hard inquiry on your credit report that you don’t recognize, dispute it with the credit bureau.

The credit bureau will then contact the lender to verify the inquiry. If the lender can’t verify the inquiry, it will be removed from your credit report.

You can also dispute hard inquiries by sending a letter to the creditor. Include your name, address, and account number, as well as a copy of your credit report with the inquiry in question circled.

In your letter, ask the creditor to remove the inquiry because it’s unauthorized or inaccurate. The creditor is not required to remove the inquiry, but if they do, it will also be removed from your credit report.

How to avoid hard inquiries in the future

The best way to avoid hard inquiries is to only apply for credit when you absolutely need it. If you’re not sure whether you need to apply for a new line of credit, ask yourself the following questions:

Do I really need this credit?
Can I afford the payments?
Will this help me reach my financial goals?

If the answer to all three of these questions is “no,” then you probably don’t need to apply for that new credit.

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