What is a credit inquiry and who makes them?
When you apply for a loan or other services, the business that you ask for credit or apply for service from will often check your credit history. Utility companies, lenders, insurance companies and credit card companies are just a few of the businesses that regularly check credit reports as part of their application process.
Credit Inquiry Definition
Each of the main credit bureaus — Experian, Equifax and TransUnion, keeps a record of all the companies that have requested your credit history report. When a company checks your credit report before deciding whether to loan you money or provide you with utility service, it is called making a Credit Bureau Inquiry.
Explanation of Credit Inquiries
Credit bureau inquiries stay on a person’s credit report for 24 months. This record is listed in your credit report in a section called Credit Inquiries. Each time an inquiry is logged in this part of your report, it can affect your credit score.
Ten percent of your credit score is based on credit inquiries that are listed on your credit report. So, one factor that lenders, mortgage companies, and creditors use when deciding whether to loan you money is the number of hard credit inquiries listed on your credit report. If there are a lot of hard inquiries on your credit report, a mortgage company might refuse your application or lenders may be reluctant to loan you money.
You might have difficulty getting approved for a new home or car. The reason is that lenders consider it a higher risk when consumers have shopped around for loans a lot recently. They might think that you’ve recently taken on a lot of new accounts, which might make it harder for you to afford the mortgage or loan application.
Erase Credit Inquiries
You are probably already aware that if you see incorrect information listed on your credit report, that it is essential to dispute that information. The same goes for inaccurate credit report inquiries too. If you see a credit report inquiry that you didn’t approve, it is essential to dispute this information as it can negatively affect your credit score.
Even though unauthorized credit report inquiries are not as commonly disputed as other errors, it is very much worth the effort to challenge these inaccuracies on your credit report. A lot of inquiries on your credit report could cause you to end up paying more for car insurance.
Or, you might end up with a cell phone contract that is not the best deal. Also, credit report increase that you don’t recognize could be a sign that someone is attempting to steal your identity. It is vital to erase credit inquiries from your report that are not accurate.
How To Check Credit Inquiries
The first step to erase credit inquiries is to check your reports. You have the right to request a free copy of your credit report every year from the three major credit bureaus — Transunion, Equifax, and Experian. Go to https://www.annualcreditreport.com/ and request copies of each report.
Next, comb through the information looking for inaccuracies. Pay attention to the section of the report titled “Credit Inquiries” or just “Inquiries.” Make a note of inquiries that you don’t remember making or authorizing.
To dispute credit report errors, it is best to hire a credit dispute lawyer to assist you. The reason why you should contact an attorney for help is that credit reporting agencies often don’t remove information when requested by consumers, even though they are required by law to remove inaccuracies on credit reports.
Many times, consumers have the right to file an FCRA lawsuit. An FCRA attorney can help you dispute the information, gather evidence and follow up with legal action if the credit agencies do not remove inaccurate inquiries on your report.