A Beginner’s Guide To Removing Hard Inquiries From Your Credit Report

Maintaining a good credit score is important for many people that are attempting to be financially responsible with their money and financial options.

You need good credit in order to afford many of life’s major expenses. One of the factors that impact your credit score is hard inquiries. You may want to remove these from your credit report in order to increase or simply maintain your score, and here is a quick guide to help you out.

What Is A Hard Inquiry?

When you are looking at different important concepts regarding your credit score and how to maintain one, an aspect that you need to consider and understand is what a hard inquiry is. Hard inquiries are made by external parties that want to review your credit score for financial purposes. These will typically be made by companies for lending purposes, or large financial reasons. Some examples include buying a car or home where you would need to take out a mortgage or a substantial amount of money. Your bank would also make a hard inquiry with some significant financial milestones like attaining a new credit card or increasing your limits, as your credit score will play a role in your approval.

How Does It Affect Your Credit Score

Having hard inquiries on your credit report may affect your score. It depends on the type of inquiry and the frequency. A hard inquiry can drop your credit score roughly 5 to 10 points but may vary depending on your score prior to the inquiry. Inquiries are not inherently negative or bad, in the sense that they are required in order to determine your eligibility, as they are simply part of most processes. However, they can be troublesome or become a problem if your account suddenly reveals a lot of inquiries, suggesting to potential creditors or lenders that there may be something to watch out for. This might cause your score to drop significantly, impacting your buying ability and financial flexibility.

Why You Want To Remove It

Ultimately the main reason you want to remove hard inquiries is in order to help repair or maintain your credit score. If you have well-maintained credit already, and you have minimal credit inquiries, you do not need to worry about removing them. However, if you have a less-than-ideal score, it could help increase your credit by removing such inquiries. For those with lower credit scores, removing such inquiries translating to an increase in points can mean saving hundreds or thousands of dollars when you are in need of different financing options.

Accessing And Preparing To Dispute Hard Inquiries

The first thing you need to do when you are attempting to remove hard inquiries from your file is to gain access or a copy of your credit report. These can be accessed through your bank or financial institution. When you start the process, you will want to have some items or documents ready in order to make the process as quick and efficient as possible. You will need government documents, such as your social security card, driver’s license, or any form of government identification, a bill to confirm your information, as well as a dispute letter. This is all needed to make the dispute more effective, clearly stating your reasoning for the removal and increasing your chances of success. Depending on the credit bureau, the form requirements may vary.

How To Remove Hard Inquiries

When you are trying to remove hard inquiries, you want to consider starting with the oldest ones first, as newer hard inquiries will have your information and most likely will have your approval on file. When you are trying to remove inquiries from credit report, you will always want to review in detail your entire report, as this will allow you to spot any fraudulent inquiries. If you recognize any reports you did not authorize, regardless of the date, the likelihood you can remove these will be much higher. Once you have your desired inquiries in mind, you will submit your removal request with your information in hand and the dispute letter forwarded. If you have provided clear reasoning for the removal, the process should complete the dispute in around a month’s time.

What Is Soft Credit Inquiry?

Not all inquiries are categorized as hard inquiries, but there are also soft credit inquiries to consider. Soft inquiries don’t impact your credit score and are mostly used for informational purposes. These include checks from credit card companies in order to qualify you for certain offers or options, as well as to simply gain information. Additionally, your employer or landlord may do a soft inquiry on your credit as a part of your background check to establish your financial situation. These types of offers do not need to be authorized by you. Any of your own credit checks will also be qualified as soft inquiries.

Maintaining Good Credit Score

One of the most important ways to maintain your credit score is to check your credit regularly. This will allow you to closely monitor your credit and identify any significant impactors that you may need to address. Aside from credit inquiries, there are other factors that will significantly impact your credit score. These include your consistency and regularity of payments made to your credit cards and accounts, how much of your credit itself you typically use, the age of your accounts and your credit, and the types of accounts you hold. Managing these other variables may impact your credit much more than hard inquiries do, as they only play a small portion of your overall score.

It is crucial that you are mindful of your credit score. It is a key component of what you are capable and eligible to afford in terms of large financial expenses. Hard inquiries, even though they are only a part of the entire credit score, still play a role in your reports and you should ensure that you monitor these in order to keep yourself and your credit free from fraud or other detrimental issues.