Deleting inquiries on a credit report may boost your score. You may need this boost if you are just establishing a credit history or have only a few accounts. Excessive inquiries may reduce your credit score and make you look like a bad risk to potential lenders. Multiple inquiries, even if you did not receive or accept an offer of credit, make it appear that you may be taking on more debt than you are able to handle. Deleting inquiries may be useful if you are being denied credit.
Request copies of your credit report from the three credit reporting agencies (Equifax, Transunion and Experian). Credit inquiries appear at the end of each report. Determine which inquiries to address; 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 -- hard inquiries -- affect your credit rating. 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.
Understand that rate-shopping won't necessarily impact your score. If you're shopping for a car, for example, most scoring systems aggregate multiple inquiries that occur within a 30- or 14-day window.
Request removal if an inquiry is less than a year old. Older than that, and most scoring models don't include the inquiry in your credit assessment. Write letters to each of the companies that made an inquiry on your credit report.
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 copies of inquiries made 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, 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 to request the inquiry in question be removed from your credit report. In many cases, the company removes the inquiry as a courtesy.
Unless you need credit immediately, it may not be worth your time to have inquiries removed. They have only a one to five point impact on your score. The addresses of the credit grantors may appear on your credit reports. If not, call the credit reporting agencies to obtain them.
If you authorized an inquiry, the company is not required to have it deleted.