What Is a Hard Inquiry?

Jan 02, 2023 By Susan Kelly

When someone you want to do business with, such as a lender, analyzes your credit report, this is a hard inquiry. They do this to understand better the possible risk posed by you as a borrower and how you have handled previous financial responsibilities.

Your credit score might drop by as much as five points if you make a lot of hard queries. While they will remain on your credit record for two years, only the first year will count toward your score.

You may also be acquainted with soft queries, which do not have any influence on your credit score at all. Most of the time, soft inquiries occur when you check your credit or when a lender or credit card company sends you preapproval offers in the mail.

Why It Is Necessary to Get Rid of Inaccurate Hard Inquiries

You can only do something to get rid of a hard credit inquiry that is valid if you see it on your credit report. You will have to wait for it to drop off your report. After a year has passed, it will no longer affect your score, and after two years, it will be removed from your credit report.

On the other hand, if you find a hard credit inquiry unfamiliar, you must erase it. There are many explanations for this phenomenon. To begin, it indicates that you are being punished unjustly for that blunder, even if it only had a little influence on the overall result. Second, it may indicate fraud, which is why it is essential to do more research on it and remove it as soon as possible. How to remove hard credit inquiries from your credit report?

Steps To Remove Inaccurate Hard Inquiries

Even if deleting an item off your credit report is not as easy as checking your email, the process is not nearly as complicated as it could make you believe. The following guide for disputing erroneous queries and cleaning up your credit report.

Check Credit Reports for Free

You should first contact each of the three credit bureaus—Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion—to get a copy of your credit report. It is vital to examine all three of them because, although identical information will likely be captured, this is not always the case.

On average, you are permitted one free credit report inquiry per year via the website AnnualCreditReport.com. Nevertheless, because of COVID-19, you have until April 20, 2022, to place an order for free weekly credit reports.

Look for Inaccurate Hard Inquiries

When you finally get your credit report, you'll see that it includes a section labeled "Hard Inquiries." You will want to skim over the full report to ensure it is correct, but the inquiry portion is where you should focus the most of your attention. Be sure you are aware of any challenging questions posed here in case there are any.

It is essential to remember that the firm identified as having inquired may only sometimes correspond perfectly with the company you conducted business with. This situation often arises when a shop works with a financial institution to operate its credit card program.

Comenity Bank, which controls the credit cards for Victoria's Secret and Sportsman's Warehouse, may have performed a credit inquiry on you even though you may have believed you were applying for a card with either Victoria's Secret or Sportsman's Warehouse. You may need to do some Google research to validate an inquiry.

Submit a Dispute

There are two possible causes for inaccurate hard inquiries to occur.

First, the provider may have examined your credit record without your knowledge if you were looking for a new service. This may have happened while you were shopping around. You could have the right to file a dispute if the firm ran a hard credit check without your knowledge or consent when looking for a new mobile phone carrier. This would be an example of a situation qualifying as a cause for a dispute.

Second, if you uncover an inquiry that you are unfamiliar with in any way, it may be an honest error; nevertheless, it is also possible to indicate fraud. It is essential to make contact with the firm that is mentioned to verify. If it turns out to be a fraudulent inquiry, you might consider placing a freeze on your credit report or, at the very least, setting up a fraud alert. In any scenario, you must make sure you challenge requests that aren't valid with every agency and report that includes them on its list.

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