How to Delete Inquiries on a Credit Report

How to Delete Inquiries on a Credit Report
Too Many Credit Inquiries

Determine whether you should take the time to delete recent inquiries on your credit report. Most lenders won't look at inquiries over six months old, and inquiries are permanently dropped from your credit report after two years.

Request copies of your credit report from the three credit reporting agencies (Equifax, Transunion and Experian). Credit inquiries will appear at the end of each report. Determine which inquiries are causing problems; "soft" inquiries made by a creditor for the purpose of extending an offer of credit do not affect your credit rating. Only inquiries by credit grantors affect your credit rating. You may likely recognize these inquiries as companies to which you applied for credit, though in some cases, you may not recognize the entity that made the inquiry.

Write letters to each of the companies that made an inquiry on your credit report. Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, only "authorized" inquiries may appear on your credit report. See the "Resources" section below for a link to a sample letter.

Send your request via certified mail, return receipt requested. The creditors may send you copies of documents that you signed authorizing the credit inquiry, or may have spoken with on a recorded line. If the company provides this documentation, study it carefully to make sure you did, in fact, authorize the credit inquiry. If your review of the materials does not reveal explicit authorization to make a credit inquiry, or if no such materials are provided, you should insist that the company remove the inquiry from your credit report.

If you do not receive a response to your initial inquiry, or to any follow up inquiry within 30 days, call the company and demand that the inquiry in question be removed from your credit report. In many cases, the company will remove the inquiry as a courtesy or will not want to take the time to investigate whether the inquiry was actually authorized. This is the ultimate goal of your calls and letters. If the company continues to fail to respond to your request, let the company know that you will be filing complaints with the appropriate agencies, such as the Better Business Bureau, State Banking Commission. or Federal Trade Commission. Be sure to follow through and provide the company with a copy of your complaint.