Credit inquiries are the way businesses determine a person’s credit worthiness. There are two types of credit inquiries.
A hard inquiry occurs when potential lenders check the credit history of a person requesting a loan. This type of inquiry affects the credit score.
When there are several of these types of inquiries, a credit score can be lowered substantially. Since the credit score is used to determine credit worthiness, too many hard inquiries can make it very difficult to obtain a loan.
A soft inquiry is when a person checks their own credit. It is also known as a soft inquiry when companies check a credit history in order to offer credit cards or other types of credit in a promotional way.
The Fair Credit Reporting Act protects people from credit inquiries without their permission. It was enacted to provide privacy, accuracy, and fair credit reporting. This act also allows a consumer to dispute any inquiries and/or information on their credit report that they believe to be inaccurate.
What To Do When There Are Too Many Hard Inquiries
People should check their credit regularly for inquiries that were not authorized. When unauthorized inquiries are found, it is important to send a credit inquiry removal letter to each of the three credit bureaus: Equifax, Experian, and TranUnion.
Use a polite tone rather than getting upset and threatening. It can be frustrating to be turned down for credit due to inaccuracies; however, showing concern and a desire to clear the matter up in a civil way is much more likely to result in a speedier result.
The letter should include the name and contact information for each company the consumer believes has made an unauthorized inquiry. This letter needs to include the date of the unauthorized inquiries as well.A dispute form will need to be filled out for each credit inquiry that is in question.
Each credit bureau has a form that can be downloaded. Include the forms with the credit inquiry removal letter to each credit bureau. A copy of each dispute form, as well as the letter, should be kept by the person for their records.
Once the letter and forms are received, the credit bureaus will investigate the disputes. They will contact each company that performed the inquiry. If they find they were unauthorized, they will be removed from the credit report.
The amount of time it takes to contact the companies and determine if the inquiries were unauthorized typically takes 30 to 45 days.
The removal normally takes approximately 30 days to appear on the credit report. Removing inaccurate information, particularly hard inquiries, will typically result in a higher credit score.
Sample Credit Inquiry Removal Letter
(Name and Address of the Person Sending the Letter)
123 Oak Street
City, State 12345
(Sender’s Social Security Number)
(Date of the Letter)
June 5, 20xx
(Name and Address of the Credit Bureau)
P. O. Box 000
City, State 00000
Credit Inquiry Removal Request
Dear (Name of the Recipient or Sir or Madam):
I am writing to request several credit inquiries that were unauthorized be removed from my credit report.
On (date of receiving a copy of your credit report) January 10, 20xx, I received a copy of my credit report and became aware of five inquiries that I did not authorize. They are as follows:
1. Name of the Inquiring Company
2. Name of the Inquiring Company
3. Name of the Inquiring Company
4. Name of the Inquiring Company
5. Name of the Inquiring Company
Each company has received a letter sent by certified mail stating that the inquiries were not authorized, and I have requested them to be stopped. In addition, I have asked for their removal from my credit report.
In keeping with the Fair Credit Reporting Act, I am asking that my claim is investigated and any and all unauthorized inquiries removed from my credit report. I would appreciate a copy of my credit report once the inaccuracies are removed.
Thank you for your consideration in this matter. Should you need to contact me, my email address is firstname.lastname@example.org and my telephone number is (000)000-0000.
List of All Enclosures