Initially, hard credit inquiries can affect your credit score negatively. If you are trying to rebuild your credit, disputing inquiries you don’t recognize will keep your credit score clean.
Hard credit inquiries
When you apply for a loan, your lender will check your credit report. Different from a soft inquiry – which has no impact on your credit, a hard pull is used by a lender to determine if you meet their qualification criteria for a loan, such as an auto loan.
A hard inquiry occurs when you apply for a loan or credit card. Typically, this type of credit pull will temporarily hurt your credit score by a couple of points. Soft credit inquiries can happen when you want to check your credit report or for pre-approval offers. This includes using services that will provide you with a free credit report.
Another important thing to note is that too many hard inquiries on your credit history can hurt your ability to obtain a loan. If you are constantly applying for different types of credit, it often indicates financial instability, meaning that lenders will view you as a risk.
How long do hard inquiries stay on my credit report?
Hard inquiries will stay on your credit report for 24-months. After this two-year period, the inquiry will no longer show up on your credit report. However, any unauthorized hard inquiries can be disputed.
The impact of hard inquiries on your credit score will not impact your score after 12 months, although it will stay on your credit report for the entire 2 years.
Can you remove hard inquiries from your credit report
Removing a hard inquiry from your credit report can improve your score. However, genuine inquiries authorized by you will not be able to be removed from your credit report.
However, if the inquiry is the result of fraud or identity theft, it can be disputed to the 3 major credit bureaus. It is critical to the health of your score to dispute and remove any unauthorized credit pulls.
At Cambio, we can help you remove any unauthorized inquiries on your credit report. Click here for more information
How to remove hard inquiry from your credit report
If you are looking to dispute the inaccurate inquiry, there are a few steps to take to get the credit pull removed.
- Monitor your credit reports
The first step to removing inquiries from your credit history is to request a credit report from each of the three major credit bureaus. Although Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion will often have the same information, looking at all three will ensure that each report is accurate.
Each report can be requested for free once per year.
- Check for inaccurate hard inquiries
After receiving your credit report, look for the section labeled “Hard Inquiries.” Ensure that all inquiries listed under this section are recognizable and accurate.
Sometimes, the listed company on the credit report may not exactly match who you decided to do business with. This is most common in retail credit cards. Retailers with credit card programs are typically partnered with a bank to manage these programs.
After checking over the inquiry section of your report, be sure to scan over the rest of the report to ensure its accuracy.
- File a dispute
If you find any fraudulent inquiries on your report, dispute them right away. There are two main reasons that inaccurate hard inquiries can show up on your credit score.
The first can occur if you were shopping around for a loan or new line of credit. Sometimes, the lender will check your credit report without your approval. If this check is done without your knowledge, it should be disputed.
The other common reason an unrecognizable credit pull is on your report is either fraud or an honest mistake. If you suspect a fraudulent inquiry, set up fraud alert services or put a freeze on your credit to prevent any new inquiries from occurring.
Any illegitimate credit pull should be disputed with each credit bureau that has it reported on your credit history. When something is disputed, the bureau is required to investigate the pull and will remove it.
Each of the three credit bureaus can be reached by mail, phone, or through their website.
No matter what, you should be regularly checking your credit reports to verify that all information is correct. To do this, you can request a credit report from each of the three major credit bureaus for free once a year. Other credit reporting agencies, such as a FICO Score, can be checked regularly to monitor credit activity.
Any inaccuracies in your credit reports should be promptly disputed to a credit bureau. Removing inaccurate hard inquiries will improve your credit score, helping to qualify for loans with the most attractive terms, such as lower interest rates.