A credit inquiry is a request by a legitimate business to check the credit history of a potential customer. There are hard and soft inquires, but only hard inquiries will affect the FICO score.
Soft inquiries include inquiries that the person makes on his or her own credit score as well as inquiries made by businesses that want to send promotional material or offers for credit cards. Hard inquires include inquires made by a potential lender to decide if they want to extent credit to the consumer.
Large Number Of Inquiries
A large number of inquiries on a credit score can make it extremely difficult or impossible for the consumer to buy a house, car or any purchase that requires credit.
Consumers should take the time to review their credit scores to find out if there are any unauthorized credit inquiries on their credit report. If this is the case, they can send a credit inquire removal letter and have all or some of the inquiries removed. This would most likely raise their credit score.
According to the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), consumers have the right to dispute any inaccurate information on their credit report.
How To Remove Hard Credit Inquiries?
Credit inquiries are a reasonable way for a lending institution to determine if a person is a good risk before they lend them money. When they make a hard inquiry it will show on the consumer’s credit report. If this is done without the consumer’s knowledge or permission, it may result in too many inquiries that will lower the consumer’s credit score.
The consumer should view their credit report at least once or twice a year to see if there are any irregularities. If they are applying for credit and constantly getting turned down, it may be because their credit score is unfairly low.
3 Major Credit Bureaus
The first thing to do is make a request to the three major credit bureaus; Experian, TransUnion and Equifax. If the credit bureaus are able to identify the consumer’s identity, and there is no freeze on their report, they can order it online. Otherwise, they need to submit the request by phone or through the mail.
The consumer will find a list of enquires on the credit reports from the past two years. They should make a list of any that are unauthorized along with the company’s contact information and the date of the inquiry.
This list will be added to the credit inquiry removal letter sent to each of the credit bureaus. Each dispute will need to be put on a separate form. The form can be downloaded from the credit bureau’s websites.
Time for Research
It may take from 30 to 45 days for the dispute to be researched by the credit bureau. They need to contact each company to determine if the inquiry was authorized or not. Any unauthorized inquires will be removed from the consumer’s credit report.
They will inform the consumer that they are removing the inquiries. It may take up to 30 days to update the credit report. The consumer should order another copy of their credit report after 30 days to make sure the unauthorized inquires have been removed.
Here is a sample hard credit inquiry removal letter. It needs to be sent by certified mail to each of the three main credit bureaus. Any enclosures should be copies. No original documents should be sent.
Sample Hard Credit Inquiry Removal Letter
234 Jelly Avenue
Longside, NJ, 08095
February 5, 2019
Credit Bureau’s Name
Credit Bureau’s Address
City, State, Zip Code
RE: Hard Credit Inquiry Removal Request
Dear Sir/Madam: unless the name of the agent is known
The purpose of this letter is to have several unauthorized hard credit inquiries removed from my credit report. I have received a copy of my credit report from your bureau on 01/23/2019 and noticed that there are three unauthorized inquiries listed. The unauthorized inquiries are listed below, and I have also highlighted them on the enclosed copy of my credit report.
Item One Name of Company
Item Two Name of Financial Institution
Item Three Name of Credit Union
I have sent letters to these three companies and asked them to stop the unauthorized inquiries and have them removed from my credit report. However, it has been 60 days and I have had no response from them. The letters were sent by certified mail, so I am sure when they were received.
Kindly investigate my claim in accordance with the Fair Credit Reporting Act. If you find any unauthorized inquiries, please remove them as quickly as possible and send me a copy of my new, accurate credit report.
Thank you for your timely attention to this matter. I can be reached at 555-123-4567 or at firstname.lastname@example.org if you need any further information.
List of Enclosures