Credit Score: How to Delete Hard Inquiries
Your credit score plays a vital role in determining your financial well-being. It affects your ability to secure loans, credit cards, and even rent an apartment. One factor that can negatively impact your credit score is hard inquiries. In this article, we will explore what hard inquiries are, how they affect your credit score, and most importantly, how to remove them.
What are Hard Inquiries?
A hard inquiry occurs when a lender or creditor checks your credit report after you apply for credit. This could be for a loan, credit card, or any other form of credit. Hard inquiries are different from soft inquiries, which occur when you check your own credit or when a potential employer or landlord checks your credit as part of a background check. Unlike soft inquiries, hard inquiries can slightly lower your credit score and remain on your credit report for up to two years.
How do Hard Inquiries Affect Your Credit Score?
While hard inquiries have a minimal impact on your credit score, they can still make a difference. Each hard inquiry can lower your credit score by a few points, especially if there are multiple inquiries within a short period. Lenders may perceive frequent inquiries as a sign that you are desperate for credit or experiencing financial difficulties. This can make you appear risky to lend to, resulting in a lower credit score.
How to Remove Hard Inquiries:
1. Identify Inquiries: Start by requesting a free copy of your credit report from each of the three major credit bureaus – Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion. Look for any hard inquiries that you do not recognize or that you believe were made without your permission.
2. Dispute Errors: If you find any inaccurate or unauthorized hard inquiries on your credit report, you have the right to dispute them. Contact the credit bureau in writing and provide evidence to support your claim. The credit bureau will investigate the inquiry and remove it if it is found to be incorrect or unauthorized.
3. Request Removal: If you find legitimate hard inquiries on your credit report that you wish to remove, you can contact the lender or creditor directly. Explain your situation and politely request that they remove the inquiry. While they are not obligated to comply, some lenders may be willing to accommodate your request, especially if you have a good payment history with them.
4. Time-based Removal: Hard inquiries automatically disappear from your credit report after two years. If you are planning to apply for a major loan or mortgage in the near future, it may be wise to wait for the inquiries to naturally fall off your report. However, keep in mind that their impact on your credit score diminishes over time.
1. How many points do hard inquiries affect your credit score?
Each hard inquiry can lower your credit score by a few points, but the impact is usually minimal and temporary.
2. How long do hard inquiries stay on your credit report?
Hard inquiries remain on your credit report for up to two years.
3. Do soft inquiries affect your credit score?
No, soft inquiries do not affect your credit score. Only hard inquiries made by lenders and creditors have an impact.
4. Can you remove hard inquiries yourself?
Yes, you can remove hard inquiries yourself by disputing errors or contacting the lender to request removal.
5. Can removing hard inquiries improve your credit score?
Removing hard inquiries can have a minor positive impact on your credit score, especially if you have multiple inquiries.
6. How long does it take for a hard inquiry to be removed from your credit report?
If you successfully dispute an inaccurate or unauthorized inquiry, it can be removed within 30 to 45 days.
7. Can you prevent hard inquiries altogether?
You cannot prevent legitimate lenders and creditors from making hard inquiries, as they are a necessary part of the credit application process. However, you can limit the number of inquiries by being selective in your credit applications and avoiding unnecessary credit checks.
In conclusion, hard inquiries can have a slight impact on your credit score, but they can be removed if they are inaccurate or unauthorized. By regularly monitoring your credit report and taking the necessary steps to address any issues, you can maintain a healthy credit score and increase your chances of obtaining credit in the future.