Too many hard inquiries on your credit report will hurt your credit score. It’s important to know that soft inquiries, or inquiries you make, do not affect your score. Equally important to know is that legitimate hard inquiries that you have authorized cannot be removed from your credit profile. If, however, there are hard inquiries on your report that you have not authorized, you can dispute the inquiries and ask the three credit bureaus to remove the item from your report, potentially raising your credit score.
We’ve provided a credit inquiry removal letter template below. If too many inquiries are affecting your score, use it as the foundation of a letter to send to the bureaus.
Table of Contents
Sample Credit Inquiry Removal Letter
[Your City, State, Zip Code]
[Insert the bureau’s address]
Request for Investigation of Unauthorized Inquiry
Dear Sir or Madam,
I received a copy of my credit report from your organization on [insert date of report] and I noticed an unauthorized inquiry had been made by [Insert name of creditor].
I contacted [creditor] and asked them to remove their credit inquiry from my credit profile.
I request that you initiate an investigation into [creditor’s] inquiry on my credit report to determine who authorized the inquiry. If you find that I did not authorize the inquiry, please remove inquiry from my credit file and send me an updated copy of my credit report.
If, however, you find the inquiry 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.
Enclosures: [List what you are enclosing.]
Downloadable Credit Inquiry Removal Letters
Information to Include With Your Inquiry Removal Letter
This is merely a guideline for how to write a letter. You should take the time to personalize and/or change the wording accordingly. There are also a few rules you should stick to:
- Remember that there is a person on the other end of the letter, and it helps to be kind instead of combative. They will be much less likely to help someone who writes an angry, threatening letter than someone simply seeking help in fixing a mistake.
- Don’t bother citing laws and regulations. You are sending the letter to someone who knows them front and back and deals with them every day. Threatening a lawsuit if they don’t remove the inquiry will only hurt your chances of getting help.
- Do not send original documents. While your letter should include a copy of your credit report with the disputed inquiry circled, it should not be the original copy. You should also include a dispute form with letter, which can be found at each bureau’s website (listed below).
- If you are unsure whether you authorized the inquiry or not, dispute it. The burden of proving you did authorize it is on the bureau.
- Have someone else proofread your letter.
- Send the letter by certified mail, with a return receipt requested. You will receive a notice when the bureau has received the letter.
The mailing addresses for each bureau are:
P.O. Box 740256
Atlanta, GA 30374-0256
P.O. Box 4500
Allen, TX 75013
Consumer Dispute Center
P.O. Box 2000
Chester, PA 19016
Removing Credit Inquiries From Your Credit Report
This is not a Letter of Explanation. Lenders will sometimes request that if they see too many inquiries, and you may use such a letter to explain legitimate inquiries.
This is a letter for disputing unauthorized inquiries related to fraud, or to force the bureaus to prove inquiries were authorized and legitimate. This can be helpful if you are the victim of identity theft, where the thief could be using your information to open credit cards, hitting your profile with hard inquiries.
If you are shopping around for a new car or house, and weighing options, you may have multiple hard inquiries as you talk to different creditors. As long as this is done within a relatively short time span, usually 45 days, the credit bureaus will recognize this, and not penalize you for all of the inquiries.
Inquiries themselves stay on your report for two years, but usually only affect your credit score for the first year.
Use a Professional Credit Repair Company to Dispute Inquiries on Your Credit Report
Disputing a credit inquiry can be a waiting game. If you would rather not take the time, you can hire a professional, experienced credit repair company to write the letter and do the waiting for you. They will contact Transunion, Equifax, and Experian on your behalf. They can also help with other negative items listed on your credit report.
For more information on credit scores and what affects them, visit our Credit Score Learning Center. Need more writing tips or other letter templates? Visit our credit and collections letter template resource center.
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