Inquiries appear on your credit report when a company checks your file to see if you are eligible for credit. Multiple credit inquiries can damage your credit score, thus making it difficult to obtain approval for credit lines or loans. Inquiries can indicate to lenders that you may be in financial trouble and are trying to find relief by opening new accounts. If you don’t want to wait the standard two years for the inquiries to be removed, you can take action to take them off sooner.
Print a copy of your credit report. On the Federal Trade Commission-sponsored website, annualcreditreport.com, you can obtain a copy of your credit report from the three major credit reporting agencies, Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. You are entitled to one free credit report per year. A list of your credit inquiries will appear on the report.
Draft a letter to the creditor that includes information about the credit inquiry. Include your full name, address, and phone number. Give the details of the inquiry, including the credit report it appeared on and the date it was made.
Explain the reason you want the inquiry to be removed. If the inquiry was not authorized, you can refer to the Fair Credit Reporting Act, Section 1681b(c): Transactions Not Initiated by Consumer. Let the creditor know that you want it to contact the agency to have the item removed.
Include a copy of the credit report with your letter to the creditor. Highlight the item in question.
Send the letter by certified mail. This allows you to track the letter and confirm whether the creditor has received it. Wait about a month and then recheck your credit report to make sure the inquiry has been removed.
Tips and Warnings
- You should only send a letter in order to have a record of correspondence between you and the creditor. The company may not oblige if you only place a phone call.