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How to Remove Inquiries From Credit Report | Get Rid of Erroneous Hard Inquiries

You can dispute hard credit inquiries by contacting the credit reporting agencies and, in some cases, the lender that initiated the inquiry. However, you can only withdraw hard inquiries if they are a product of identity theft. The alternative is for them to fall off independently after two years. Here is how to remove inquiries from a credit report.

Key Takeaways

  • Many hard inquiries might negatively impact your credit score despite not taking a large percentage of your credit history. However, you can request the removal of erroneous hard inquiries.
  • You can remove inaccurate credit inquiries by filing a dispute letter with any credit bureau, including Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion.
  • A hard inquiry can remain on your credit report for two years. It can impact your credit score, lasting six to twelve months.
  • You can get a credit inquiry taken off your credit report by waiting for the inquiry to age off or formally disputing it with each credit bureau if it is erroneous.

The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) mandates that credit bureaus notify customers whenever a creditor or any other business makes a hard inquiry, often known as a “hard pull,” on their credit report. The credit agency will update your credit file to reflect the inquiry.

How to Remove Inquiries From Credit Report

Hard inquiries have a negligible impact on one's credit score, which changes over time. However, it is still important to monitor any changes to your credit report, especially if they are errors, as they could affect your credit score. The best way individuals can keep their credit score in good shape in the face of occasional credit reporting errors is to remove any inaccurate hard inquiries from credit reports.

Hard credit inquiries remain on your credit record for two years. However, it will disappear after that time and no longer impact your credit scores. The credit agencies will automatically remove the inquiries beyond that point and only show up if you or a prospective lender check your credit reports.

Credit report, a pen and a calculator

Aged-off inquiries and other items that the credit agencies remove from your credit history will no longer impact your credit score. You can also submit a request to remove erroneous inquiries before their closing date. How long it will take to remove credit inquiries from your credit report depends on the method you use.

If the credit agencies approve your credit dispute, the credit inquiry will be removed from your report within a few days to a couple of weeks. Your credit score can temporarily rise during this period if some credit bureaus decide to remove the disputed records while an investigation is ongoing.

Does Removing Inquiries Increase Credit Score?

Boosting your bad credit score might take time, and you won't see a significant improvement instantly. However, removing credit inquiries does have its benefits.

Your Credit Score Could Grow: Your credit score will decline due to hard inquiries during the first six to twelve months. However, you can see a quick improvement in your credit score if you remove them before then.

You can rebuild your credit: Lenders may perceive you as a greater risk if you make multiple inquiries in a short period. However, lenders might be more willing to provide credit when the queries are removed.

red and green notice for bad and good credit

Can You Pay to Remove Hard Inquiries From Your Credit Report?

A credit restoration firm can get a hard inquiry off your report, but it will come with a fee. However, the firm can only withdraw queries if they originate from fraudulent activity. Instead of engaging a third party to handle a fraudulent inquiry issue on your behalf, you can do it yourself at no cost.

You should monitor your credit report for queries to determine who is checking your credit and to verify that only reputable entities are granted access to your credit history. Why? Having false or fraudulent inquiries on your credit report can impact your scores and may even indicate identity theft.

What Is a Hard Inquiry?

A hard inquiry occurs when an individual applies for a new loan or credit card. The lender reviews more than one credit report to evaluate whether the individual matches its creditworthiness requirements. The term “hard pull” or “hard credit check” is also used to describe this process.

There are two significant differences between hard and soft inquiries. The first instance of a hard inquiry occurs when an individual applies for a credit card, loan, or any other form of finance.

There is a two-year period during which hard inquiries remain on credit reports. You may have to wait until the end of the 24 months for any legitimate hard inquiries to disappear. Hard inquiries affect credit scores, though not all of them do.

a man reading the documents

If you are in the market for a mortgage or auto loan, this can result in multiple hard inquiries as lenders review your credit records to determine what interest rate and terms to offer. Credit scoring algorithms will consider loan applications made within 14 days (or occasionally somewhat longer) as a single inquiry.

Soft inquiries may arise at an individual request, such as when they decide to check their credit report. Sometimes you might not even be aware of it if lenders analyze your credit before delivering you a preapproval proposal.

Soft inquiries do not alter an individual credit score. However, each hard inquiry typically lowers your credit score by a few points. Prospective lenders will see you as a higher risk the more hard inquiries are on your credit reports. How so? A lender may view an individual as high-risk if they apply for different kinds of credit regularly, which could imply financial instability.

Should You Remove Hard Inquiries?

Getting rid of hard inquiries on your credit report is a good idea, as doing so can positively impact your credit score. On the contrary, disputing a legitimate hard inquiry on the credit report will likely not affect the scores.

However, you may be the victim of fraudulent activity if you come across hard inquiries for credit applications you did not file. You may file a dispute letter to get the inquiry withdrawn. The process of filing a dispute is simple and does not cost anything. However, you can use it solely to remove inaccurate information from your credit reports.

The credit agencies will take down the inquiry if they discover it was generated by fraud. You should immediately dispute any unknown accounts you find on your credit report after detecting an unauthorized hard inquiry.

a piece of puzzle with Credit Report notice


Can You Get Inaccurate Hard Inquiries Removed From Your Credit?

Yes, you can remove inaccurate hard inquiries from your credit report by filing a dispute with credit bureaus. You can send a dispute letter to three major credit bureaus: Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion. It's vital to double-check all three because the information may be the same on all of them, but that's not always the case.

Can I Dispute Accurate Information on the Credit Report?

Yes, you can dispute accurate information on your credit report that appears more than once. In most cases, you cannot get factual but negative information deleted from your credit history. Any negative information will stay on your credit report for seven years. Certain information lasts longer than others.

How Long Does It Take To Remove Inquiries From a Credit Report?

It takes two years to remove a hard credit inquiry from a credit report. However, the impact on your credit scores might only last a year and sometimes only a few months. Soft inquiries remain on your credit report for about 12 to 24 months. Also, soft inquiries do not affect credit scores, so don't worry about that.

What Is the Fastest Way to Remove Inquiries From a Credit Report?

The fastest way to remove inquiries from your credit report is by filing a formal dispute. Sometimes, a credit bureau will temporarily remove a record that has been disputed to conduct an assessment before deciding whether to reinstate it.

About Dusan Stanar

I'm the founder of VSS Monitoring. I have been both writing and working in technology in a number of roles for dozens of years and wanted to bring my experience online to make it publicly available. Visit https://www.vssmonitoring.com/about-us/ to read more about myself and the rest of the team.

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