Inquiries may remain on your report for two years. Whenever an inquiry is made, the three credit bureaus record it. Once the inquiry is logged, your credit score might be affected. At the bottom of your credit report is a “Credit Inquiries” section. When you apply for credit, your potential creditor checks your credit report to determine your creditworthiness—that is how an inquiry comes about.
“New credit” makes up 10% of your credit score. How does it affect your score? New accounts: the number of new account types you have in various account categories affects your credit score. Student loans, mortgages and installment loans are more favorable than revolving credit.
Number of recent inquiries: the amount of credit inquiries over the last two years is also considered. Time between inquiries: an inquiry negatively affects your score for 12 months after it was made and remains on the report for two years. Age of your account: an older credit account is better for your credit score than a new one. Inquiries are not as bad as delinquent debts or missed payments.
Their effect on your score is low and lessens with time. If you have worse things on your credit report, focus on them first. Soft credit inquiries have no impact on your credit score while hard ones do. Applying for new credit such as a credit card, car loan, or mortgage results is a hard inquiry. A new cell phone, job application, and a new insurance policy can also result in a hard inquiry. Soft inquiries happen when a lender checks your report without your consent. Maybe you asked for a pre-approval rate but did not really apply for credit.
A soft inquiry might also occur when an existing creditor checks your credit. Note: checking your own credit score or report is a soft inquiry. Sometimes inquiries will not have an impact on your credit score. In other circumstances, they will lead to a drop in your score with a maximum of 5 points. If you have many inquiries, the effect may be big. Too many inquiries at once also lead a potential lender to believe that you desperately need money and are in financial trouble.
Avoid applying for numerous types of credit at the same time. However, while shopping around for a single type of loan, say an auto loan, and apply for a few of them to compare rates, they are counted as one when calculating your score. The same applies for a mortgage and credit cards. First, you need to get a copy of your report to see what is in your Credit Inquiries section.
If you did not authorize an item and it is listed, you can dispute it by – Sending a letter to the creditor asking them to remove it because it was unauthorized. Hiring a professional to help repair your credit (especially if there are other negative accounts you need removed). To avoid unauthorized inquiries in future, place a freeze on your report.
Sample of A Credit Inquiry Removal Letter
Instead of standard mail delivery, send the letter via certified mail to increase the chances of a faster response. The letter should be personal and straight to the point. All the relevant information should be included.
Credit bureau: Name
Credit bureau: Address
(Explain that you found an inquiry that you did not authorize. If you filed a dispute with the inquiry source, mention it. Request an investigation and an updated copy of your report reflecting the findings of the investigation).
Include a copy of the report page that shows the inquiry. If possible, highlight the section with the error. If you want the bureau to hurry with the process, be as clear as you can. A less complicated dispute takes a shorter time to solve.