Remove items from credit report

How To Remove All Inquiries From Your Credit Report

Most people think that their credit score is only dependent on their repayment history. That is not true. There are several factors that credit bureaus use to formulate your credit score. One of those factors is how many inquiries are present on your credit report.

Although inquiries are a minor factor in your overall credit score, they can affect a lender’s decision to extend credit to you as a customer. It could cause you to get a higher interest rate or hinder you from getting approved for a loan altogether. 

If you have wondered the following:

  • How long do inquiries stay on your credit report?
  • How to dispute a credit report and win?
  • How long do hard inquiries stay on your credit report?
  • How to remove negative items from the credit report yourself?

You’ll want to keep reading.

In this article, we’ll lay out all the details about inquiries on your credit report. We’ll talk about where they come from and how they impact your credit score. Most importantly, we’ll show you how to remove inquiries from a credit report.

Remove items from credit report

What Generates Inquiries on Your Credit Report

Several activities could generate an inquiry on your credit report. Here are some of the most common ones:

  • Applying for a mortgage
  • buying/leasing a new car
  • applying for a line of credit
  • a new cellular contract
  • opening a store credit card
  • applying for a personal loan
  • purchasing insurance
  • applying for a job that requires a credit check

There are several items on this list that you are probably familiar with and have done. A few might surprise you that they could affect your credit.

The company that requested the credit report must share the results of the credit check with you. The law mandates that they do so. If they deny extending credit, they must give you notice and provide the reason for the denial. They also have to give you the reason if they offer credit at a higher rate or lease with a higher deposit.

Monitoring your credit report regularly is one of the best ways to stay on top of inquiries on your credit report. You will find the items listed at the bottom of the report. 

Two Types of Credit Report Inquiries

Two types of inquiries show up on your credit report. These are hard inquiries and soft inquiries. The categorization of any inquiry on your credit report depends on who requests the information. Let’s look at the differences and how to remove inquiries from your credit report.

What Generates a Hard Inquiry on Your Credit Report

A hard inquiry(also called a hard pull) goes on your report when you, a consumer, apply for credit. The list of scenarios above is many of the most common ways you cause a hard inquiry on your credit report.

You must give consent to a creditor to pull your credit report. You often will sign a form giving your permission for the credit check. You have probably done so when financing a vehicle or applying for a mortgage. The creditor uses the report to verify your name, credit score, and your credit history. They use the information on your credit report in deciding whether or not to extend credit to you.

What Generates a Soft Inquiry on Your Credit Report

You do not have to give your consent for a soft inquiry(or soft pull) to show up on your credit report. A soft pull can come from several sources such as you checking your credit report. 

You may also see soft inquiries from insurance companies, credit card companies, or stores that offer charge cards. They pre-screen customers for special offers and promotions. Applying for a job with a salary above $70,000 per year may also result in a soft pull. 

When Do Inquiries Fall Off Your Credit Report?

Another common misconception about credit history is that your report contains your entire lifetime of interaction with debt. Fortunately for most of us, our credit report is not a history etched in stone. 

Over time, both positive and negative items fall off your credit report. The term means just as it sounds. Items that are no longer relevant due to time simply disappear from your credit report.

Negative items, such as missed payments, fall off after seven years. Inquiries take much less time than that. Soft inquiries usually fall off within one year. Hard inquiries typically fall off within two years. We’ll discuss each in more detail later. 

Even positive items do not affect your credit score forever. Luckily, they last the longest amount of time out of any items on your report. Positive items fall off after about 10 years. Closed accounts will also fall off after about a decade. 

When Do Hard Inquiries Fall Off?

While creditors view hard inquiries as negative items on your report, they do not last as long as other negative items. You can also proactively remove hard inquiries from your credit report. 

Depending on how many hard inquiries you have and when you need to apply for credit will affect how you deal with hard pulls. Hard inquiries fall off within two years. If you can wait for them to fall off, then you don’t have to do anything at all.

If you need a hard inquiry removal from your credit report, you can dispute it by certified letter. If you have a good credit score, you don’t need to worry about removing inquiries. However, you can improve marginal credit by removing hard inquiries. 

How Soft Inquiries Affect Your Credit Score

We mentioned above some of the scenarios that may result in a soft pull. These are instances that you do not request the information to be given to a third party by the credit bureaus. Soft inquiries do not affect your credit score. 

Stores that offer credit cards, credit card companies, and insurance companies may make inquiries into your credit when you are an existing customer. They do this to pre-screen you for special offers. This could be a good thing.  

Increased Credit Through Soft Inquiries

Your credit card company may increase your credit limit even if you didn’t request it. Having high available credit but not utilizing that amount can improve your score quickly. A higher credit limit will only hurt your score if you carry a high balance.

Companies may also pre-screen you to offer other products. A credit card company that also offers mortgages and car loans may send you mailers with pre-approval for these products. 

Your insurance company may pull your credit report when your policy is due to renew. They may offer you a better rate based on your credit score. 

Each of these scenarios will result in a soft inquiry showing up on your report. Soft inquiries typically fall off your credit report within one year.

Fuzzy Credit Indicators

Some companies request lists from the Credit Reporting Agencies of customers with certain credit scores. They then market their products to the people on the list. You can gauge your credit score range by the types of offers you receive. If you get offers from well-known creditors offering high limits, it is a fuzzy indicator that you have good credit. 

How Hard Inquiries Affect Your Credit Score

Hard inquiries are considered a negative item to potential creditors. However, they do not have as great of a negative impact on your score as missed payments or charge-offs. Most negative items fall off after seven years. Hard inquiries fall off within two years. 

A minor drop in your credit score results from hard inquiries. These inquiries show that you are seeking credit or a loan. There are ways to minimize the impact of these inquiries on your overall credit score. 

Many Inquiries Can Count as One

Likely, you are actively shopping around for the best loan rate when buying a home or vehicle. This will cause several hard inquiries to appear on your credit report. Keep your search within 30 days and all of the inquiries will be viewed as only one item. This will have only a 1-5 point impact on your score.

Keep Up with Payments

Maintain a good repayment record after you obtain a new loan or credit. It may seem like obvious advice, but you can mitigate the small drop in your score more quickly than you think. A steady repayment record helps raise your credit score back up over time. Having hard inquiries is much less detrimental than carrying high credit card balances.

How To Remove Hard Inquiries From Your Credit Report

Here we reach the crux of the article. You are likely here to find out how to remove inquiries from your credit report. First, let’s restate that you can safely ignore soft inquiries. They do not hurt your credit score. 

You can remove hard inquiries from credit report under certain conditions. These inquiries must be proven to be unauthorized or fraudulent. Remember that you must give express consent for a hard pull of your credit report when applying for credit. 

Legitimate hard inquiries that you initiated must remain on your credit report until they naturally fall off. 

There are a few ways that you can go about getting unauthorized inquiries removed. There are two types of letters you can submit to the credit bureaus. You can also call the company that inquired to request that they remove it. If you are inclined to pay for credit repair services, you can hire a company to write these letters for you or purchase credit repair software. 

Inquiry Removal Letters

If you notice an unauthorized inquiry on your credit report, you can request its removal through a certified letter. You must send a separate letter to each of the credit bureaus. 

Your inquiry removal letter must include the reason you want the inquiry removed, the name of the company that inquired, and an explicit request that the credit bureau remove the item. It may be helpful to highlight the disputed items and include a copy of your report with the letter. 

The credit bureaus must investigate all requests for inquiry removal unless they determine the request to be frivolous. Remember that only unauthorized or fraudulent items can be removed. All legitimate inquiries must remain on your credit report. 

609 Letters

A 609 letter is a credit repair method similar to sending a dispute letter by certified mail. The name comes from section 609 of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). You may use a 609 letter to get credit bureaus to remove negative entries from your credit report. 

Statistically, using a 609 letter compared to a regular certified letter is not any more effective. Any verifiable information on your credit report will remain there. Only unauthorized items can be removed. A 609 letter is not a guarantee that the credit bureau will remove any item from your report.

How to Remove Hard Inquiries From Credit Report Fast

There is one method to get hard inquiries removed from your credit report quickly. This method can take less than 24 hours. The only thing you need to do is call the company that made the hard pull and ask that they remove it. 

If you have looked over your credit report and determined that there are unauthorized hard inquiries, you can call the companies that made the requests to dispute directly with them. This may involve some significant time waiting on hold, verifying information, and demanding good customer service. But you can remove hard inquiries from your credit report within 24 hours using this method. 

Credit Repair Agencies

The whole process may seem overwhelming to you. There are formal letters to write, phone calls to make, and other paperwork. If you don’t have the time or inclination to go through the process on your own, you can hire a credit repair agency that will take all these steps for you. 

You should determine if the cost of credit repair is worth the return of getting items removed from your credit report. If you want to apply for new credit shortly or you have been the victim of identity theft, it may be worth hiring an agency. 

Final Thoughts

Navigating the world of credit can be confusing. There are many misconceptions about how credit reports work. This article armed you with a few simple facts to help you improve marginal credit and keep your credit score up.

Monitor your credit regularly to make sure only legitimate inquiries and other items show up on your credit report. When you notice fraudulent items quickly, it is easier to deal with them. 

Hard inquiries generate when you apply for new credit. You must give consent for companies to pull your credit report. These hard inquiries will naturally fall off your report within two years. Needless to say, you can ignore soft inquiries since they don’t affect your credit score. 

You can remove hard inquiries from your credit report when you find that they were not authorized by you with the many methods available we discussed. Just call the company that inquired, send a dispute letter or 609 letters to the credit bureaus, or hire a credit repair agency.

All these should send you on the right path, good luck!