Removing credit inquiries can be an important part of any plan to improve your credit report. Credit inquiries are a record of each time that someone pulled your credit report. There are two general categories of credit inquiries: “hard” credit inquiries and “soft” credit inquiries. Hard credit inquiries are the kind that can lower your credit score – these types of credit inquiries result when you apply for credit such as a mortgage, auto loan, or credit card, or when an organization such as a collection agency or private investigator is looking for information about you. A soft credit inquiry results when a company pulls your credit report for a marketing purpose, such as a “pre–approved” credit offer that you may receive in the mail, or when you pull your own credit report. Soft inquiries do not impact your credit score and therefore there is no real benefit to removing these credit inquiries.
Removing credit inquiries can be important if you’re looking to raise your credit score by a few extra points. Remember to focus on removing the hard credit inquiries, not removing the soft credit inquiries. Also remember that credit inquiries, like the other information on credit reports, should be reported as close to accurately as possible. So what does that mean for removing credit inquiries? It means that if you identify credit inquiries when you have not applied for credit, or if you never gave your authorization to have your credit pulled, you can dispute those credit inquiries with the credit bureaus. In order to remove credit inquiries, you need contact each of the credit bureaus that is reporting the credit inquiry and explain to them why the credit inquiry is inaccurate. The credit bureaus are required by law to investigate any item that you dispute, and if they determine through their investigation that it is not reporting correctly, they must either correct it or remove the item entirely. This is the formal process to remove credit inquiries.
The other way to remove credit inquiries is to not have them show up in the first place – each hard credit inquiry can lower your credit score by more than a few points. The more hard credit inquiries you have, the lower your credit score will be as a result. Hard credit inquiries can lower your credit scores by as much as five points each. So if those credit scores are important to you, consider not applying for credit in the first place – at least not over and over and over. Removing credit inquiries after you have applied for credit can be a challenge, because if they are showing correctly on your credit report, then they are legally allowed to be reported.
Removing credit inquiries is an important part of an overall credit improvement plan. Credit information on your credit reports is updated constantly, so you have to stay on top of it to have the highest credit scores possible. Removing credit inquiries can give your credit score a boost past that next important level, but is one of only hundreds of steps you can take on an ongoing basis to keep your credit scores high. For an expert consultation on all the ways you can improve your credit scores, view our accredited and approved credit repair agencies.