Each time a bank or insurance company receives an application from you, an inquiry is made into your credit score and credit report. Those inquiries have been authorized by you and the inquiries result in a reduction of the overall credit score. When a credit card company or mortgage provider goes through hundreds of thousands of credit reports by making inquiries for their marketing departments, those inquiries really don’t affect the credit score, even though they show up on the credit report.
Others Want to Know
And then there are inquiries from companies and individuals who want the information for other purposes. Those inquires are probably not authorized by you and they can affect your credit score negatively. In those cases, there is a way to have the inquiry removed and to improve your credit score as a result. It’s called a Credit Inquiry Removal Letter.
Not All Credit Inquiries are Created Equal
Credit inquiries affect a credit score at different times and in different ways. When you go out looking for a new car, you might sign two or three applications for credit from different banks or auto finance companies. They all make inquiries into your credit and by signing the application, you authorize them to do so. Credit bureaus understand this is simply a consumer out looking for the best financing deal they can get. The bureaus allow for this activity and don’t deduct credit score points when this occurs, as long as the inquiries are all made within a 30 to 45 day window.
Time is a Factor Regarding Inquiries
The same situation is true for home mortgages and other high dollar purchases. Buying a big screen television on credit can generate several inquiries from various retailers offering financing. The formulas the credit bureaus utilize can track this data and, once again, as long as the activity takes place within a short period of time, the consumer’s credit score isn’t affected. But if you take too long and shop around, the resultant inquiries can affect your credit score negatively.
Credit Inquiry Removal Letter Sample
We have prepared this sample letter to send to a credit bureau requesting an investigation of an unauthorized inquiry appearing on your credit report. Be sure to send via fax or certified mail rather than standard mail delivery to get a faster response. Try to make the letter appear more personal than this form letter, but make sure to include all the information. The sample letter should look like:
Your Phone #
Credit Bureau: Name
Credit Bureau: Address
RE: Request for Investigation of Unauthorized 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 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 profile. I also asked them to cease their illegal activities immediately, but so far, there have been no responses. Since sending the letter more than 30 business days ago, they have failed to respond and honor my request.
Therefore, I must request your help in resolving this matter. In accordance with the Fair Credit Reporting Act, I request you initiate an investigation into [inquiry source’s name] inquiry on my credit report to determine who authorized the inquiry. If, once your investigation is complete, you find my allegation to be true, please remove the unauthorized 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 the completion of the investigation.
Thank you for your assistance in this matter,
What Else to Send
Be sure to include a copy of the credit report page evidencing the inquiry and it doesn’t hurt to highlight the section for the credit bureau, just so there’s no mistake, delaying the process and adding additional communications.
Don’t Give Up Until You Get What You’re After
This is not always an automatic process and you should keep a file organized with copies of the credit reports, letters sent to remove inquiries, and responses to those letters. Time is on your side as long as you’re patient and diligent. In many cases, the inquiry will be removed and you should see an improvement in your credit score.
Or You Can Let Professionals Handle It
If you don’t have the time to go through the process of having your credit report cleaned of all the errant inquiries, you can retain a firm that can do the work much more efficiently and effectively, in many cases. 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 experience and many happy clients. Lexington Law Firm has over 24 years of experience and hundreds of thousands of happy clients. Call (800) 220-0084 for a FREE consultation to see how they can improve your credit score and your life.