Credit Inquiry Removal Letter

If you’ve recently received copies of your credit report, you may have noticed an ‘Inquiries’ section towards the bottom of the report.

inquiries

In most cases, this section has minimal impact on your credit score. But the way you manage your credit, particularly the way you apply for credit, can end up making a big difference if not facilitated correctly.

Learning about credit inquiries can also help you spot any potential credit fraud. For example, if you have hard inquiries on your credit report that you’re sure you didn’t make, it could be a sign of identity theft.

Read on to find out everything you need to know about what credit inquiries are, how they affect you, and how to get rid of them.

What is a credit inquiry removal letter?

A credit inquiry removal letter is used to dispute an unauthorized inquiry. It is sent to the credit bureaus to request that a credit inquiry be removed. Once the credit bureaus receive your letter, they are obligated to investigate your claim with the creditor who placed the hard inquiry on your credit report.

Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, the information provider has 30 days to report back to the credit bureau with proof that you authorized the credit inquiry. If they fail to respond or provide proof, the credit inquiry must be removed from your credit report.

Credit inquiries don’t have a major impact on your credit score. However, if you have too many in a short period of time, they can definitely damage your credit. That’s why it’s important to have unauthorized credit inquiries removed from your credit report.

How to Write a Credit Inquiry Removal Letter

Sometimes companies and individuals make hard inquiries that you did not authorize. In those cases, there is a way to remove the hard inquiry and improve your credit as a result. It’s called a “credit inquiry removal letter” or a “credit inquiry dispute letter.”

Even if a hard credit inquiry is “questionable” and you are not sure if you made it or not, you can dispute it as the burden of proof is on the credit bureaus and your creditors.

We have prepared a sample letter to send to the credit bureaus requesting an investigation of an unauthorized inquiry appearing on your credit report.

Credit Inquiry Removal Letter Template

Be sure to send via certified mail rather than standard mail delivery to get a faster response and ensure your letter is received.

Try to make the letter appear more personal than this form letter, but make sure to use your own words. Remember, this is just an example. Your letter should look similar to this:

Sample Credit Inquiry Removal Letter

{Name}
{Address}
{Phone #}

{Credit Bureau: Name}
{Credit Bureau: Address}

{Date}

RE: Request for Investigation of Unauthorized Credit Inquiry

Dear Sir or Madam,

I checked my personal credit report, which I acquired from your organization on {insert date of report} and I noticed an unauthorized credit inquiry had been made.

I contacted {inquiry source’s name}, who conducted the inquiry and asked them to remove their credit inquiry from my credit report.

I request that you investigate the [inquiry source’s name] inquiry on my credit report to determine who authorized the inquiry. If you find my allegation to be true once your investigation is complete, please remove the inquiry and send me an updated copy of my credit report at the address listed above.

If you find the inquiry referenced above to be valid, please send me a description of the procedures used in your investigation within 15 business days of completing the investigation.

Thank you for your assistance in this matter,

{Signature}

{Printed Name}

What should I include with my letter?

Be sure to include a copy of the credit report page evidencing the credit inquiry. It also doesn’t hurt to highlight the section, just so there’s no mistake.

Otherwise, you run the risk of delaying the process and adding additional communications. Take the extra step ahead of time to save potential complications further down the road.

What’s the difference between hard inquiries and soft inquiries?

Each time a bank, lender, credit card issuer, or insurance company receives an application from you, an inquiry is made on your credit report. They have been authorized by you and are called “hard inquiries.”

Unsolicited credit card offers that come in the mail are called “soft inquiries.” Credit card issuers, insurance companies, and lenders make those inquiries. You did not make them, so they don’t impact your credit score, even though they appear on your credit report.

Pre-approvals and pre-qualifications initiated on your own usually also only constitute a soft inquiry. To be sure, however, check with the creditor before agreeing to one.

See also: Hard vs. Soft Inquiries: How They Affect Your Credit Score

How do credit inquiries impact my credit score?

Credit inquiries affect your credit score at different times and in different ways. For example, when you’re shopping for a loan, you might apply for new credit from various banks or credit unions.

They all check your credit, and by signing the application, you authorize them to do so. Credit scorers understand this is simply a consumer out shopping for the best rate they can get.

They allow for this activity and don’t deduct points for each individual hard inquiry when this occurs. Instead, as long as the credit inquiries are all made within a 45-day window, they group them together and count them as one inquiry.

But if you take too long and shop around, the resulting credit inquiries can affect your score negatively.

How long do inquiries stay on my credit report?

All credit inquiries are listed on your credit report for two years. After that, they should fall off naturally. On the plus side, an inquiry only affects your credit score for one year. Once that period is up, your score should rebound a few points.

Again, it’s no big deal if you just have a few hard inquiries listed on your credit report. But if you have a long list of them, you might want to try getting one or more of the inquiries removed.

This is especially true if you don’t remember authorizing the inquiry. To dispute a hard credit inquiry, you must contact each credit bureau that lists it.

Focus Your Credit Repair Efforts on More Serious Items

While having too many credit inquiries can hurt your credit score, they are the smallest scoring factor. In fact, each hard inquiry typically deducts about five points from your credit score.

We find that most people spend too much time worrying about credit inquiries. They usually have worse negative items on their credit report that have a much bigger impact on their credit score.

But if you apply for credit cards every month, either out of necessity or as a rewards bonus hack, you can really start to cause some damage.

Do you have other negative information affecting your credit?

Do you have other negative marks on your credit reports? Or maybe you don’t want to bother disputing inquiries on your own? If so, you can retain a credit repair company that can do the work more efficiently and effectively for you.

A professional credit repair firm performs these tasks hundreds of times a day. However, when investigating credit repair companies, be sure to look for a firm with many years of experience and many happy clients.

Check out our Lexington Law Firm Review to find out more about the company that has over 28 years of experience and hundreds of thousands of happy clients, or call 1 (800) 220-0084 for a free consultation to see how they can improve your credit score.