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How Long Do Hard Inquiries Stay On Your Credit Report

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How Long Do Credit Inquiries Stay on Credit Report

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How Multiple Inquiries Affect Your Borrowing Odds

Even though hard pulls may minimally affect your credit score, they are oftentimes used to gauge and assess risk by many creditors. A short span of multiple hard inquiries can be a red flag to credit card issuers or lenders. This in turn hurts your chance for approval.

Numerous inquiries can cause creditors to generate assumptions about your borrowing abilities. Also, hard inquiries create a sense of mystery in your credit filea mystery as to why. Why exactly are you applying for more credit? Is your existing credit not enough? Do you have intentions to fully max out the new credit line?

Several hard pulls can send the message that you are quick to make credit decisions on a whim. They also can suggest that you are preparing to rack up a lot of debt or that you may be struggling to repay previous debt.

For example, lets say you want to take out a credit card for a one-time expense such as a vacation or a fancy new appliance. While not at all a wise idea, it is not uncommon for not-as-disciplined consumers to apply to multiple credit cards until they get approved.This practice is no good in terms of credit inquiries. Always think it over before deciding to apply for many credit cards or loans at one time, or within the span of weeks or months.

Could your credit score use some help? Check out the top companies for credit repair.

How Long Does A Credit Check Take

Nowadays, most lending institutions have automatic systems to run credit checks for them. These systems can finish a check in less than five seconds. Of course, if you want to conduct a credit check on yourself, it will take a bit longer. First, youll need to request your report at by entering your name, address, social security number, and date of birth in an online form. Once you take care of that, you should be able to access your report right away.

Third parties that are checking your credit without the help of an automatic system – e.g., landlords – may have to wait 2 to 10 days to get your reports.

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Bankruptcy: Seven To Ten Years

The length of time bankruptcy stays on your credit report depends on the type of bankruptcy, but it generally ranges between 7 and 10 years. Bankruptcy, known as the credit score killer, can knock 130 to 150 points off your credit score, according to FICO. A completed Chapter 13 bankruptcy that is discharged or dismissed typically comes off your report seven years after filing. In some rare cases Chapter 13 may remain for 10 years. Chapter 7 and Chapter 11 bankruptcies go away 10 years after the filing date, and Chapter 12 bankruptcies go away seven years after the filing date.

Limit the damage: Don’t wait to start rebuilding your credit. Get a secured credit card, pay nonbankrupt accounts as agreed, and apply for new credit only once you can handle the debt.

How To Minimize The Impact Of Hard Credit Inquiries

How Long Do Hard Inquiries Stay on Your Credit Report?

If you want to minimize the impact of hard credit inquiries, try to avoid applying for a lot of new credit all at once. That way, your credit report doesnt bear the burden of multiple credit card applications and the associated hard credit pulls.

If youre taking out a car loan or a mortgage, try to condense your credit shopping into a short time period.

The best way to minimize impact is to shop around in a short period of time, no more than 45 days, explains Ulzheimer.

The credit bureaus often track this type of rate shopping as a single credit inquiry, which will do less damage to your credit score.

That said, Ulzheimer advises consumers to not worry too much about whether inquiries will impact their credit.

I wouldnt worry at all about inquiries. They are the least impactful of all scored attributes, so there are plenty of other things that are considerably more important to worry about.

High credit card balances and missed credit card payments, for example, have a much larger effect on your credit score.

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Carefully Plan Your Hard Inquiries

Dont start applying for credit until youre serious about it, then you can stick to this time frame.

If you are shopping around, youll start to have separate hard inquiries stack up on your credit reports when they are spread out over time. It always helps to have a financial goal with a deadline so you can plan your inquiries in advance.

If youre not applying for too many types of credit at the same time, then you probably wont have to worry about disputing inquiries you can just leave them alone.

However, if you have several different types of inquiries, you may want to consider disputing them because they can add up as lost points. And if your credit score is borderline between two scoring categories, then every few points can make a difference.

How Long Do Inquiries Stay On Your Credit

Most credit reporting is voluntary. For example, credit card issuers arent legally required to share customer information with the credit bureaus. The credit bureaus arent required to include credit card accounts on credit reports, either. Account information is reported and included in credit reports because it helps the companies involved boost their bottom lines.

Inquiries are different. The credit bureaus are required by law to disclose when they give anyone access to your credit information. According to the Fair Credit Reporting Act , most inquiries must stay on your credit report for at least 12 months. Employment inquiries have to remain on your credit report for 24 months.

Typically, the credit reporting agencies opt to keep inquiries on your credit reports for two years. Yet FICO only considers hard inquiries that occurred in the last year. Once a hard inquiry is older than a year, it has zero influence on your FICO Score.

VantageScore once again is more lenient where inquiries are concerned. If a hard inquiry lowers your VantageScore credit score, it will generally rebound in three to four months .

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Q: How Long Do Hard Inquiries Stay On Your Credit

A: Hard inquiries stay on your credit for a maximum of 2 years.

If youre unsure whether something on your credit report is a hard or soft inquiry, common hard credit inquiries include credit applications for a:

  • Business loan
  • And any type of personal loan

So to answer the question of How long do Hard Inquiries Stay on your credit report directly?

Hard credit inquiries stay on your credit report for a maximum of 2 years but there is a lot of other factors involved as to how long does credit inquiry stay on your credit report which I will explain below.

However, they only impact your credit score for the first 12 months, with any potential impact typically occurring within the first 6 months of that window.

A Soft Credit Check Vs A Hard Credit Check

CREDIT INQUIRIES: How Long Do Inquiries Stay On Your Credit Report?

Although both soft and hard credit inquiries appear on your credit reports, a soft check doesnt impact your credit score and, aside from a few exceptions, you are the only one who sees them in your file. Soft credit inquiries are reserved for prequalified insurance quotes and credit card offers, employers performing a background check on prospective hires, or you checking your own credit.

Hard pulls, on the other hand, are visible to anyone with access to your credit reports. They are implemented when you apply for a personal loan, mortgage, auto loan, apartment renting, student loan, or credit cards.

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How Long Does Information Stay On My Equifax Credit Report

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  • Most negative information generally stays on credit reports for 7 years
  • Bankruptcy stays on your Equifax credit report for 7 to 10 years, depending on the bankruptcy type
  • Closed accounts paid as agreed stay on your Equifax credit report for up to 10 years

When it comes to credit reports, one of the most frequently asked questions is: How long does information stay on my Equifax ? The answer is that it depends on the type of information and whether its considered positive or negative.

Generally speaking, negative information such as late or missed payments, accounts that have been sent to collection agencies, accounts not being paid as agreed, or bankruptcies stays on credit reports for approximately seven years. Here is a breakdown of some the different types of negative information and how long you can expect the information to be on your Equifax credit report:

Here are some examples of “positive” information and how long it stays on your Equifax credit report :

  • Active accounts paid as agreed. Active credit accounts that are paid as agreed remain on your Equifax credit report as long as the account is open and the lender is reporting it.
  • Closed accounts paid as agreed. If the last status of the account is reported by the lender as paid as agreed, the account can stay on your Equifax credit report for up to 10 years from the date it was reported by the lender to Equifax.

How Many Hard Inquiries Is Too Many

The effect of a hard inquiry on your credit scores ultimately depends on your overall credit health. In general, adding one or two hard inquiries to your credit reports could lower your scores by a few points, but its unlikely to have a significant impact.

Having a lot of hard inquiries within a short time frame though will likely have a greater impact on your scores. This is because lenders and in effect, credit-scoring models look at multiple credit applications in a short amount of time as a sign of risk. Though there can be exceptions when youre shopping for specific types of loans, like car loans, student loans or mortgages.

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Combining Multiple Hard Inquiries

Its important not to apply for too many types of credit at one time.

However, the credit scoring models understand that people make multiple hard inquiries to compare terms and rates. So, if youre shopping around for one type of credit, like a mortgage, and make multiple inquiries in a short period of time, they only count as a single hard inquiry.

Lenders have become increasingly lenient in this regard because they know that todays consumers are more likely to perform their due diligence before making a major financial decision. This is true for credit cards or an auto loan as well. They do not impact your credit scores as long as they occur within a 30-45 day period.

Understanding Hard Inquiries On Your Credit Report

How Long Do Hard Inquiries Stay on Your Credit Report?

Reading time: 3 minutes


  • When a lender or company requests to review your credit reports after you’ve applied for credit, it results in a hard inquiry
  • Hard inquiries usually impact credit scores
  • Multiple hard inquiries within a certain time period for a home or auto loan are generally counted as one inquiry

Some consumers are reluctant to check their credit reports because they are concerned that doing so may impact their credit scores. While pulling your own credit report does result in an inquiry on your credit report, it will not affect your credit score. In fact, knowing what information is in your credit reportand checking your credit may help you get in the habit of monitoring your financial accounts.

One of the ways to establish smart credit behavior is to understand how inquiries work and what counts as a hard inquiry on your credit report.

What is a hard inquiry?

When a lender or company requests to review your credit report as part of the loan application process, that request is recorded on your credit report as a hard inquiry, and it usually will impact your credit score. This is different from a soft inquiry, which can result when you check your own credit or when a promotional credit card offer is generated. Soft inquiries do not impact your credit score.

Recent hard inquiries on your credit report tell a lender that you are currently shopping for new credit. This may be meaningful to a potential lender when assessing your creditworthiness.

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Whats A Soft Credit Inquiry

According to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau , a soft checkâalso known as a soft inquiryâis a review of your credit file and existing accounts. Soft inquiries donât impact your credit scores.

Examples of Soft Credit Inquiries

Fraudulent Account Inquiries & Credit Applications

Lastly, if youre making payments on time, lowering your credit utilization, and youve cleared up any mistakes and your score is still looking pretty sad, there could be a possibility of fraud on your account. If your personal information has been stolen, scammers may be opening new accounts in your name without your knowledge. These accounts are neglected, often over-utilized and never paid off, which has a terrible impact on your credit score. Plus, each time a new account is opened, youll have a hard inquiry drop your credit score a few more points. However, you will be able to see all open accounts on your detailed credit history report. If youre checking for mistakes every year, which you should be, you most likely already saw some lines of credit that you dont recognize. It is also possible to dispute having too many hard inquiries on your credit report.

Having multiple hard inquiries in a short time could drop your credit score. While credit unions will recognize if you are shopping around for a car, its better to not have too many inquiries in quick succession. If you suspect fraud or dont understand why your score isnt improving, it may be time to consider credit repair services.

For more letter templates and disputing items on your credit report, visit our dispute letter resource center.

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How To Minimize The Number Of Hard Inquiries You Have

Hard inquiries aren’t bad to have even if they may cause a slight temporary dip in your credit scores but it can be good practice to know how to minimize the number of inquiries on your credit report.

Below, CNBC Select rounded up some general guidelines to keep track of your hard inquiries:

  • Don’t apply for several credit cards within a short timeframe. Experts generally recommend only applying for a credit card every six months.
  • Only apply for credit cards you would actually benefit from using.
  • Make sure you check your credit score beforehand . You can do so for free with most card issuers, using apps such as Discover’s Credit Scorecard and Chase’s Credit Journey .
  • Before applying for a credit card, shop around with prequalification tools, which allow you to check your likelihood of qualifying for a card without damaging your credit.

What If I See Something On My Report That Shouldnt Be There

How Long Will Inquiries Stay On My Credit Report?

When you get and read your credit report from Borrowell, you might see something that doesnât look right! If itâs regarding a specific item, we recommend contacting the credit grantor or collections agency. If itâs regarding incorrect personal information, such as your date of birth or your address, please contact Equifax directly. You can reach them here: +1-866-828-5961. Here at Borrowell, we canât change or modify any information on your credit report.

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How Much Will Credit Inquiries Affect My Score

The impact from applying for credit will vary from person to person based on their unique credit histories. In general, credit inquiries have a small impact on your FICO Scores. For most people, one additional credit inquiry will take less than five points off their FICO Scores.

For perspective, the full range for FICO Scores is 300-850. Inquiries can have a greater impact if you have few accounts or a short credit history. Large numbers of inquiries also mean greater risk. Statistically, people with six inquiries or more on their credit reports can be up to eight times more likely to declare bankruptcy than people with no inquiries on their reports. While inquiries often can play a part in assessing risk, they play a minor part are only 10% of what makes up a FICO Score. Much more important factors for your scores are how timely you pay your bills and your overall debt burden as indicated on your credit report.

Lawsuit Or Judgment: Seven Years

Both paid and unpaid civil judgments used to remain on your credit report for seven years from the filing date in most cases. By April 2018, however, all three major credit agencies, Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion, had removed all civil judgments from credit reports.

Limit the damage: Check your credit report to make sure the public records section does not contain information about civil judgments, and if it does appear, ask to have it removed. Also, be sure to protect your assets.

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