If you’re diligent about paying your loans on time and regularly monitoring your credit report to spot errors and protect your credit score, it can be frustrating to discover that your credit has still been compromised for reasons beyond your control. Unauthorized credit inquiries, which can result from attempted impersonation or unknowingly signing up for a service that requires credit approval, can negatively impact your credit score. However, there are steps you can take to protect yourself and minimize the damage. Some key things to keep in mind include regularly monitoring your credit report to spot errors, recognizing that serious unauthorized requests may indicate attempted impersonation, submitting a complaint to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and contacting the credit bureaus and lender to freeze your credit. There are two main types of credit inquiries to be aware of: soft requests and hard requests, with the latter potentially causing a drop in your score. To deal with unauthorized credit inquiries, you can start by contacting the company to see if the request was made in error, disputing the request with the credit bureaus and company, filing a complaint with the CFPB, and regularly checking your credit report for changes or subscribing to credit monitoring programs and identity theft protection services.

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