The Only Way To Remove Accurate Negative Items On Your Credit Report
A year ago you went 45 days past due on a few of your bills when you lost your job. Luckily, you were able to find a new position quickly and catch up on the amounts you owed. Now youre ready to apply for a mortgage, but when you check your credit report yikes! Those negative items stand out like klieg lights, beacons attracting the wrong kind of attention you want from a mortgage lender.
So you do what every Internet-savvy person does: You Google how to remove negative items from credit report fast. After a few minutes of scanning consumer finance blogs and websites, you breathe a sigh of relief. All it will take is a campaign of goodwill letters to the creditors whove stamped your accounts with black marks. Surely theyll take mercy on you once you explain why you were late paying them and delete that informationafter all, other people with credit issues have had luck with this tactic. Why shouldnt you?
Unfortunately, a goodwill letter-writing campaign to erase accurate negative information from a credit report falls into the dont-believe-everything-you-read-on-the-Internet lesson book. Heres why:
If youve got negative information on your credit report thats inaccurate, then of course you should file a dispute with the credit reporting bureau where the information appears, being sure to include documentation that shows why the information is inaccurate.
So in short: time heals all, even a credit report.
Others are reading:
How To Remove Inquiries From Your Credit Report
Because inquiries on your credit report can cause your credit score to drop a bit, you might be inclined to remove them. However, hard inquiriesthose that are made because you applied for more creditcan not be removed unless they are inaccurate or fraudulent.
Since hard inquiries have only a small effect on your credit score and they go away after two years, you shouldn’t waste your time trying to get them taken off your report. The wiser action is to limit the number of credit applications you make over a short period of time.
Next Stepscheck Your Credit Score & Report Regularly
Its a good idea to check your credit score at least once per quarter and your credit report once per year to check for errors. Free credit report websites can be a handy source to notify you about any new inquiries on your report. Signing up with one of these sites can help you receive any new updates about your credit reports in real-time.
Read Also: What Credit Score Is Needed For Carecredit
Send A Dispute Letter To The Credit Bureaus
If you canât get satisfaction from the creditor who is listed as making the inquiry, your next move is to reach out to Equifax and/or TransUnion directly and lodge an official about the hard pull. By law, a credit bureau must investigate any information on your credit report that you allege is an error.
Not All Suspicious Inquiries Are Fraudulent
Some inquiries may seem suspicious: You might not recognize the name of the company that made the inquiry, or there may be more inquiries than you expect. But those situations dont necessarily indicate a mistake or fraud.
For example, you may have used a loan broker that shopped around to try to find you the best rate possible on your loan. Each application the broker submitted on your behalf could lead to an authorized inquiry, even if you only took out one loan.
Read Also: Remove Repossession From Credit Report
How To Remove Hard Inquiries From Your Credit Report
Upsolve is a nonprofit tool that helps you file bankruptcy for free.Think TurboTax for bankruptcy. Get free education, customer support, and community. Featured in Forbes 4x and funded by institutions like Harvard University so we’ll never ask you for a credit card.Explore our free tool
In a Nutshell
A hard inquiry is a record of every time that a creditor or lender runs your credit report to help decide what kind of credit or loan to grant you. When someone runs a credit check, it harms your credit score. Given the potential harm, you should look to remove as many hard inquiries as possible. This article takes you through how to remove hard inquiries from your credit report. It discusses which hard inquiries are removable and the specifics of disputing them.
Navigating your credit score can be confusing, since there are many personal finance factors to deal with. One issue is âhard inquiries.â A hard inquiry is a record of every time that a creditor or lender runs your credit report to help decide what kind of credit or loan to grant you. When someone runs a credit check, it harms your credit score. Given the potential harm, you should look to remove as many hard inquiries as possible.
This article takes you through how to remove hard inquiries from your credit report. It discusses which hard inquiries are removable and the specifics of disputing them.
How Credit Scores Are Affected By Hard Inquiries
When a hard inquiry is reported, be aware that you may see a minor decrease in your credit score. This decrease will last for about a year.
If you are in the market for a car or house and need to shop around for favorable loan terms, you should focus on keeping your inquiries within a 30-day time frame. All inquiries during this time frame will count as one, having a minimal impact on your score.
Monitoring your credit utilization and refraining from obtaining new credit are other tactics to mitigate the effects of hard inquiries on your credit score.
I have found the point reduction to be minute in comparison to the decline in my score due to an increase in my credit card balance. With an inquiry requesting information on a car refinance, I saw a drop of two points. With the credit card balance increase, there was a on my report.
Recommended Reading: Sample Notification Of Death Letter To Credit Reporting Agencies
What Is A Soft Inquiry
Soft inquiries, on the other hand, occur when a creditor checks your credit without your permission. This could be a lender with whom youve talked to for a pre-approval quote but havent actually applied for a loan.
Sometimes a soft inquiry might even be pulled by an existing creditor just checking on your current credit situation. Another example of a soft inquiry is from a credit card issuer that would like to send you credit card offers.
How Much Time Is Needed To Completely Remove Negative Items From Your Credit Report
Negative items can remain on your report for seven years10 years in the case of bankruptcy. Many people wait it out because as the debt gets older, its impact decreases. Others may find different ways for the deletion of their derogatory mark. The entire process of deletion can take at least 30 days since it requires your credit report to be sent to major reporting agencies.
DID YOU KNOW? While it can take years to remove negative items, certain companies like Credit Saint can help speed up the process as they are experts in the field. Here is a detailed review of a Credit Saint.
Also Check: Comenity Bank Uses What Credit Bureau
Removing Collection Accounts From A Credit Report
Whether your attempts to pay for delete are successful can depend on whether youre dealing with the original creditor or a debt collection agency. As to the debt collector, you can ask them to pay for delete, says McClelland. This is completely legal under the FCRA. If going this route, you will need to get that in writing, so you can enforce it after the fact.
What to keep in mind, however, is that pay for delete with a debt collector may not remove negative information on your credit history that was reported by the original creditor. The creditor may claim that its contract with the debt collection agency prevents it from changing any information that it reported to the credit bureaus for the account. That said, some debt collection agencies take the initiative and request that negative account information be deleted for customers who have successfully paid their collection accounts in full.
Before taking this step, consider how collection accounts may be impacting your credit score. The FICO 9 credit scoring model, for instance, doesnt factor paid collection accounts into credit score calculations. So if youve paid off or plan to pay off a collection account, then you may not need to pursue pay for delete if your only goal is improving your credit score.
Strategies To Remove Negative Credit Report Entries
Negative details on your are unfortunate glaring reminders of your past financial mistakes. Or, in some cases, the mistake isn’t yours, but a business or credit bureau is to blame for credit report errors. Either way, its up to you to work to have unfavorable credit report entries removed from your credit report.
Removing negative information will help you achieve a better credit score. A better credit report is also the key to getting approved for credit cards and loans and to getting good interest rates on the accounts that youre approved for. To help on your way to better credit, here are some strategies to get negative credit report information removed from your credit report.
Pay For A Credit Monitoring Service
TransUnion, one of the major credit bureaus, offers a that requires a fee. I have used this service myself.
You can find a lot of other fee-based credit monitoring systems out there.
So why would you pay for credit monitoring when you can get it free?
Paid services have more elaborate tools, but they also have ways to help you recover from identity theft rather than simply detect it.
How Can I Get Inquiries Removed From My Credit Report Fast
While you may be tempted to jump into disputing all negative information in your credit report in bulk, it is essential to understand what hard inquiries mean for your creditworthiness and fully understand the concept of your credit report. The only way to remove credit inquiries from your credit report is by drafting a dispute letter to all three credit bureaus. Make sure that you find the queries to be unauthorized or wrongfully entered into your credit file. Otherwise, they will not be considered for dispute. Along with the letter, attach all supporting documents that you can come up with to prove your case. Credit reporting agencies have 30 days to investigate your request in collaboration with the corresponding furnisher, aka your creditor. You should be notified of any changes to your account after that time. Follow up with the credit bureaus if you do not receive any response within the next 30 days.
Also Check: What Credit Report Does Chase Pull
How Many Points Does A Hard Inquiry Affect The Credit Score
Fico itself has put out very contradicting information regarding how inquiries affect scores. Based on my personal experience of sifting through thousands of credit files, Ive discovered inquiries wont bring down a credit score more than 10-15 points. There are individuals credit files Ive seen with over 30 inquiries and yet they have a near perfect credit score of 800.
Dispute An Unauthorized Or Inaccurate Hard Inquiry
Remember, if you did request the credit inquiry because you were applying for a loan, then you cant dispute it with the agencies.
But if something looks suspicious, then lets take action.
If you find you could have a case of identity theft youre dealing with, then you will need to file a police report.
You would need the information from your police report to help you dispute the unauthorized inquiry.
If you think this is a case of a mistake in reporting, then you can work directly with each bureau.
File A Dispute with Each Credit Bureau
Since you receive three different credit reports, youll need to dispute the inquiry with each corresponding bureau.
Read Also: Factual Data Inquiry
What If The Company Disputes A False Inquiry Claim
When a company disputes the claim, it is the companys responsibility to give evidence backing this claim. In case they do not give any evidence, you can get the inquiry removed.
If you happen to write to the credit bureaus, you need to mention that the company disputed the claim and has not provided any evidence for it.
How To Remove Hard Inquiries From Credit Reports
Your credit reports are filled with data about your credit obligations and how you manage them. What you might not realize is that your reports contain other important details as well, like records of when others access your credit information. These records are known in the credit world as inquiries and heres how to remove hard inquiries from credit reports.
Some inquiries, called hard inquiries, have the potential to trigger a drop in your credit score. Read on for a breakdown of how inquiries work and whether its possible to remove them from your credit report.
Don’t Miss: How To Remove Repo From Your Credit Report
File A Dispute With The Credit Reporting Agency
Once you have your report, make sure to look through each account and see if there are creditors you dont recognize. Its also important to check whether older derogatory items are still being reported.
If you do find errors in your reports, its time to initiate a dispute directly with the reporting bureau through its website or by mail. This will prompt an investigation on the bureau’s part.
Bear in mind that you have to dispute the entry with each agency to make sure the removal is complete across the board.
How to file a dispute online
Each bureau Equifax, Experian and TransUnion has a section dedicated to walking consumers through the online dispute process. Once you create an account, you can file as many disputes as you need and check their status, for free.
How to file a dispute letter
You can also send a dispute letter to the bureaus, detailing any inaccuracies you’ve found in your credit file. When writing your letter, provide documentation that supports your claim and be precise about the information you are challenging. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau recommends enclosing a copy of your report with the error circled or highlighted.
Depending on the information being disputed, these are some of the documents you can provide to help aid the investigation:
- Copies of checks
Include this dispute form with your letter.
Why Its Important To Remove Inaccurate Hard Inquiries
If you spot a hard credit inquiry on your credit report and its legitimate , theres nothing you can do to remove it besides wait. It wont impact your score after 12 months and will fall off your credit report after two years.
However, if you spot a hard credit inquiry you dont recognize, its vital to remove it. There are a few reasons for this. First, it means that youre being unfairly penalized for that error, even if it only has a small impact. Second, it could be a sign of fraud, so its important to investigate it further and to get it removed.
Don’t Miss: Prosper Webbank On Credit Report
Scenarios Where You Can Dispute
- If you discover that a credit investigation was conducted without your permission or knowledge.
- If a lender has declined or withdrawn from the loan without your consent.
- If a credit bureau added a request to your report by mistake.
- If you notice a new credit card or loan on your credit record that you dont recognise.
- If you felt pressured into approving the credit pull.
- If the number of inquiries was more than you expected.
- If a fraudster obtains a loan using your Social Security number and other identifying information.
How To Remove Hard Inquiries From Report
When you apply for new credit, the hard inquiry associated with your application stays on your personal credit report for 24 months. Federal law requires hard inquiries to stay on your report for a specific period of time so you know who has had access to your credit file.
You cant force a credit bureau to remove a legitimate hard inquiry from your report early. But you can dispute any item on your credit report thats incorrect or that you want a credit bureau to verify.
The credit bureaus have incentives to correct inaccurate information when you dispute italthough you shouldnt expect mistakes to be fixed overnight. First, the Fair Credit Reporting Act requires the credit bureaus to investigate information you dispute and correct inaccuracies. The credit reporting agencies want to follow the FCRA so they dont face potential consequences of non compliance, like lawsuits or fines.
Next, the credit bureaus are also motivated to correct credit reporting errors, like unauthorized hard inquiries, because having accurate information makes for a better product. The credit bureaus sell credit reports to lenders. The more accurate the reports, the more valuable they are to the people who buy them.
Do you have unauthorized inquiries on your credit report? You may be able to get a credit bureau to remove them by following these steps.
Recommended Reading: Aargon Agency Inc Collections
Why Lenders Use Hard Inquiries
Since inquiries can reveal whether you’ve been shopping for credit recently, potential creditors can attempt to predict whether you’ve recently taken on other debt that will make it harder for you to pay off the credit card or loan you’re applying for.
According to FICO, consumers with six or more inquiries on their credit report can be up to eight times more likely to declare bankruptcy than people with no inquiries. That is why the company considers hard inquiries made within the past year in its credit scoring calculationand why lenders consider them in making decisions about extending credit.