Credit inquiries appear on your credit report after a company looks at your file to determine whether to extend you credit. Too many inquiries can adversely affect your credit score. You may find unauthorized credit inquiries on your credit report. For example, a creditor may have checked your report without your consent to see if you are eligible for a pre-approved credit offer. Other cases of unauthorized inquiries occur when you are a victim of identity theft and a criminal has attempted to open accounts in your name.
Write a letter to the creditor who has placed the unauthorized inquiry on your credit report. Start the letter by including your full contact details, which includes your name, address and phone number.
State that you want the inquiry to be removed from your file. Let the creditor know in the letter the date of the inquiry and the credit report you found it listed on. You should let the creditor know if you are a victim of identity theft and did not apply for credit with the company if this applies to your case. Request that the company send you confirmation that it has agreed to your request.
Print a copy of your credit report. Include this as an enclosure with the letter to the creditor. Highlight the inquiry item that you are referring to in your letter to the company.
Send the letter by certified mail. You can get the address either directly from your credit report or find the address by going to the creditor’s website. The company should have a contact page with mailing address details. By sending the letter by certified mail, you can track whether the creditor has received it. Give the company a month and then recheck your credit report to make sure that the inquiry was removed.
Tips and Warnings
- Credit inquiries can remain on your credit report for only two years.
You are entitled to one free copy per year of your credit report from the major crediting reporting agencies. You can access your credit report through the Annual Credit Report website. Once the site verifies your identity, you can view your reports from the three credit reporting agencies, Experian, Equifax and TransUnion.