What are inquiries and how do they affect my credit score?
On your credit report, at the end of the report, you will notice a section called “Credit Inquiries”. These inquiries are made by companies that have pulled your credit report. Inquiries can stay on your credit report for up to 2 years. Each time an inquiry is made, it is recorded on each of the three consumer credit rating bureaus – Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. And each time an inquiry is logged, it can potentially affect your credit score.
How important is it to remove inquiries?
Inquiries are the least important items to remove from your credit report. They affect your credit score the least and actually affect it less and less until they finally fall off in 2 years. Having them removed from your credit reports should be your last priority in your quest to increase your credit scores.
What is the difference between a hard and soft credit inquiry?
Hard inquiries affect your credit scores. Soft inquiries do NOT affect your credit scores.
Hard inquiries occur when you apply for new credit; a mortgage, car loan, credit card, insurance policy, job application, cell phone, etc.
Soft inquiries occur when a creditor pulls your credit without your permission. Sometimes it can be an existing creditor just checking on your current credit situation. It could also just be a company that would like to send you a credit card offer or other loan offer.
How do credit inquiries affect your credit score?
Sometimes they don’t affect your credit score at all. Other times they can affect it by up to 5 points. However, having too many can indicate to a creditor that you are desperate and may be in trouble financially. They may also assume that you’ve recently opened up a bunch of new accounts and could deny you credit for that reason.
Credit bureaus group multiple inquiries together
It’s important not to apply for too many types of loans at one time. However, if you are shopping around for one type of loan, like a mortgage, and decide to apply for several different loans, the inquiries will count as 1 towards your credit score. The same goes for credit cards and auto loans. These multiple inquiries do not affect the credit score as long as they occur within a 30-45 day period.
If you’re not applying for too many types of loans at the same time, then you should never have to really worry about disputing inquiries. Just leave them alone. However, if you have a bunch of different types of inquiries, you may want to dispute them.
How can I remove inquiries from my credit report?
There are basically two ways to go about removing credit inquiries from your credit report. One is doing it on your own and the other is by hiring a credit repair company. If you don’t have any other negative items on your credit report, it’s probably not worth it to hire a credit repair company.
If you prefer to dispute them on your own, follow the instructions on our Credit Inquiry Removal Letter page.