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Credit inquiries refer to requests made by companies to check your credit. They are transmitted to the credit bureaus and the file becomes part of your credit report. According to FICO, these demands are classified as either hard demands or soft demands. Each is different and affects your creditworthiness differently. Before we look at how to remove difficult inquiries from your credit report, let’s understand some of the terminologies.

Informal requests are the ones you do when reviewing your own credit. They can also be carried out by companies looking for new customers. These inquiries have no effect on your credit score and as such may not be a cause for concern.

Difficult requests are inquiries made by lenders or companies that you authorize when you apply for new lines of credit. They are listed in your credit report, each appearing as a single application. Requests made within 45 days are listed as one request; this usually happens when you are “rate shopping”.

Why should you remove difficult inquiries from your credit report?

A single serious inquiry may not affect your score if your credit is good. However, multiple inquiries with a short credit history can significantly lower your credit score. This has a negative impact on your creditworthiness.

Removing a hard request can increase your score by up to 5 points. Getting rid of a few of these requests can dramatically increase your chances of qualifying for a loan and getting one at a good rate.

Removing difficult requests from your report

Expert tip: Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act you have the right to dispute erroneous inquiries made on your credit report.

Credit bureaus are mandated to provide accurate and actionable reports. This means that serious requests authorized by you will remain in your report for the natural duration which is 2 years. After that, hard requests will automatically disappear.

That said, some fraudulent and erroneous claims may end up in your report. These items are debatable and constitute the bulk of the difficult inquiries that you would like to see removed from your report. Here are the steps to follow;

Step 1: Check your credit report

Start by getting your credit reports from the bureaus. To better identify erroneous or mysterious difficult requests, compare reports from the three major bureaus: Experian, TransUnion and Equifax. Identify requests from lenders that you do not recognize.

Step 2: Obtain creditor information

Using the credit report provided by the bureaus, find the addresses of each creditor whose claim you are disputing. Of the three main offices, Experian lists these addresses. For others, you need to match creditor addresses with the Experian report or get the information from official websites. You can also go all the way and call the 800 phone book and ask for the creditors address or an official number and inquire directly with them.

Step 3: Write a letter to creditors

Provided with the addresses of each creditor, write a letter informing them of disputed investigations. The letter should include any documentation supporting your claims. These may be payment records that contradict the items in dispute. Ask them to contact the reporting office to whom they provided the information and ask them to delete the items from your records.

Step 4: Write a letter to the credit bureau

Write a letter to credit bureau whose report you dispute. Clearly identify and circle the items in a copy of the credit report. The reporting office will conduct inquiries to verify your claims. They will do this by working with the information provider to eliminate errors. This should be completed within 30 days, after which they are supposed to remove the items in question. Deletion will depend on the truth of your claims, otherwise the items will remain in your report.


The steps above give you a two-pronged approach to getting tough inquiries removed from your credit report. The first is to ask (in writing) the company whose application you are disputing to contact the credit reporting agencies and inform them of the error. The other is by writing to the credit bureaus and asking them to investigate the claims in question; both of which are within your rights.

For help removing difficult inquiries and other negative items from your credit report to quickly boost your credit score, contact Credit Absolute for a free consultation.

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