Credit inquiries can impact your credit score. Hard inquiries can lower your credit score, while soft inquiries won’t have an impact.
Table of Contents
- 1 What is a Hard Inquiry?
- 2 Removing Hard Credit Inquiries From Your Credit Report
- 3 Sample Credit Inquiry Removal Letter
- 4 Information to Include With Your Inquiry Removal Letter
- 5 Credit Bureau Mailing Addresses
What is a Hard Inquiry?
Hard inquiries, such as those made by credit card companies, mortgage companies, and other similar institutions, can have serious effects on your credit score. These types of inquiries stay on your report for two years, but usually only affect your credit score for the first year.
Hard inquiries that you have authorized, such as through a credit card application, cannot be removed from your credit score, and will have to be mitigated with other credit repair strategies.
However, hard inquiries that you have not authorized can be removed from your credit report with a credit inquiry removal letter. Below we’ve provided some tips for removing unauthorized hard inquiries from your credit report, as well as a credit inquiry removal letter template for your professional use.
Removing Hard Credit Inquiries From Your Credit Report
A credit inquiry letter is really the only guaranteed way to remove a hard inquiry from your report. However, there are some additional steps besides just filing your dispute letter that will make this process easier.
Know Which Hard Inquiries Can Cause Problems
If you are shopping around for a house or a new car, you may have multiple hard inquiries as you talk to different creditors. As long as this is done within a relatively short time span, typically within 45 days, the credit bureaus will recognize this and not penalize you for all of the inquiries.
Be Mindful of Racking up Hard Inquiries
You can manage the amount of damage that hard inquiries do to your report in the first place by being mindful of what types of accounts or applications require them.
If you space these applications out over long periods of time, between six months to a year, you can see less damage to your credit score, and may find it easier to recover. This may not be possible in all circumstances, but it can be a good credit management strategy.
Use a Professional Credit Repair Company
Disputing a credit inquiry is 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.
When Do You Use a Credit Inquiry Letter?
Credit inquiry letters are typically used to identify or reverse fraud. If you are the victim of identity theft, a thief could be using your information to open credit cards and hitting your profile with hard inquiries, making a credit inquiry letter essential to recovering from this attack.
Credit inquiry letters can also be used as a way to ask a bureau if an inquiry was actually legitimate. Because these inquiries can take some time to process, you may only find this helpful if you are seriously skeptical of an inquiry on your report.
Sample Credit Inquiry Removal Letter
[Your City, State, Zip Code]
[Insert the bureau’s address]
Request for Investigation of Unauthorized Inquiry
To Whom It May Concern:
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 the 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.
[Your Printed Name]
Enclosures: [List what you are enclosing.].
Information to Include With Your Inquiry Removal Letter
You should take the time to personalize your credit inquiry letter based on your situation. This can make your letter much more effective, and it will be taken more seriously. Here are a few rules you should stick to:
- Be courteous: Remember that there is a person on the other end of the letter, and it helps to be kind instead of combative.
- Send copies, not originals: 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 your letter, which can be found at each bureau’s website.
- Edit beforehand: Have someone else proofread your letter, ideally someone who has sent a letter like this before.
- Use certified mail: Send the letter and accompanying enclosures by certified mail, with a return receipt requested. This way, you will receive a notice when the bureau has received the letter.
Below, you’ll find the addresses for the three major credit bureaus, to which you’ll send your letter.
Credit Bureau Mailing Addresses
The mailing addresses for each bureau are:
P.O. Box 740256
Atlanta, GA 30374-0256
P.O. Box 4500
Allen, TX 75013
- TransUnion LLC
Consumer Dispute Center
P.O. Box 2000
Chester, PA 19016
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