It’s important to know how to remove inquiries from your credit report. Here are some steps you can take to get started.
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Pull Your Credit Report
The best way to remove inquiries from your credit report is to dispute them. But you can’t dispute them if you don’t know they’re there. That’s why the first step is to order your credit reports from all three credit bureaus: Experian, Equifax and TransUnion.
You’re entitled to one free credit report from each bureau every 12 months, so take advantage of that right. Ordering all three reports at the same will give you a complete picture of your credit history and help you identify any potential errors or wrong information.
##Heading:Identify the Inquiries You Want to Dispute
Once you have your credit reports in hand, it’s time to go through them and identify the inquiries you want to dispute. As we mentioned before, there are two types of inquiries: hard and soft.
Hard inquiries are inquiries that were made by a lender when you applied for a loan or line of credit. They stay on your report for two years, but they have the biggest impact on your score in the first year. So if you see a hard inquiry that looks suspicious or wrong, it’s definitely worth disputing it.
Soft inquiries are made when companies check your credit as part of a background check or when you check your own credit score. These don’t impact your score at all, so there’s no need to dispute them.
Identify the Inquiries You Want to Remove
The first step is to identify the inquiries you want to remove. You’re entitled to one free credit report from each of the three major credit bureaus every 12 months. Check all three reports and make a list of all the inquiries that appear on any of the reports.
Gather Documentation to Support Your Case
If you’re disputing an erroneous inquiry, you’ll need to submit your documentation to the credit bureau(s) so they can investigate your case and take appropriate action.
The first step is to request a copy of your credit report from the credit bureau(s) in question. Once you have your report, look carefully for any inquiries that you believe are erroneous. Each inquiry will list the date it was made, the company that made the inquiry, and potentially a brief explanation of why the inquiry was made.
If you find an erroneous inquiry, make a copy of that section of your credit report and circle the inquiry in question. Then, gather any documentation that you have supporting your case — for example, if an inquiry was made because of identity theft, you would want to include a copy of the police report documenting the incident. Once you have all your documentation in order, write a letter to the credit bureau detailing your dispute and enclose copies (NOT originals) of all supporting documentation. Be sure to include your name, address, and a daytime phone number where you can be reached.
Mail your dispute letter and enclosures to:
Equifax Dispute Department
P.O. Box 740256
Atlanta GA 30374-0256
Experian Dispute Resolution Center
P.O. Box 4500
Allen TX 75013
TransUnion Consumer Relations
P.O O Box 2000
Chester PA 19016-2000
Send a Letter to the Credit Bureau
The credit bureau must investigate the accuracy of the information on your report. Once they receive your letter, they will contact the company that provided the inquiry to verify its accuracy. If the inquiry is found to be inaccurate, it will be removed from your report.
Send a Letter to the Creditor
The first step is to send a letter to the creditor. Include your name, address, and social security number. Request that the inquiry be removed from your credit report. You should also include a copy of your credit report with the inquiry highlighted.
If the creditor does not respond to your letter, you can send a follow-up letter certifying that you have made a good faith effort to resolve the issue but have been unable to do so. Include a copy of your original letter and the creditor’s response, if any.
You can also file a complaint with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).
Wait for the Inquiries to Be Removed
The wait is the hardest part when you’re dealing with credit report inquiries. The good news is that most inquiries will eventually fall off your credit report. Hard inquiries stay on your report for two years, but they only impact your score for the first year. So if you’re looking to improve your credit score, you don’t have to wait two years for the inquiry to fall off — it will stop affecting your score after 12 months.
Inquiries are also broken down into two different types: hard and soft. Hard inquiries are generated when you apply for new credit and can stay on your report for up to two years. If you have too many hard inquiries in a short period of time, it can signify to lenders that you’re desperate for money or that you’re taking on too much debt. So if you’re trying to improve your credit score, it’s best to limit the number of hard inquiries on your report.
Soft inquiries are generated when companies check your credit as part of a background check or when you check your own credit. Soft inquiries don’t have any effect on your credit score and they generally fall off your report after six months.