When you apply for credit, the lender or business may view your credit history to determine your creditworthiness. The lender has to make sure that you are capable of repaying your debts in a timely manner. Each time a lender or business views your credit history, it will display as an inquiry on your credit report. However, sometimes a business can access your credit report without your permission. Unfortunately, too many credit report inquiries can lower your score. If you have unauthorized inquiries listed on your credit report, there is a way to legally have them removed.
Order your credit report online. You can receive a free copy of your credit report by visiting AnnualCreditReport.com. You will need to request a copy of your credit report from all three major credit bureaus--TransUnion, Equifax and Experian. Please note that you cannot order your credit report online if you have a security freeze or fraud alert on your credit file--or if the credit bureaus are unable to verify your identity. In that case, you will have to submit your request over the telephone with a credit bureau representative or through postal mail.
Review the inquiries listed on your credit reports. Each credit report will display a list of companies that viewed your credit history over the past two years. Decide which inquiries were unauthorized, and make a list of the company's contact information and the date of the inquiry.
Submit a dispute form to each credit bureau. You can submit your dispute form online by visiting TransUnion.com, Equifax.com and Experian.com. You will need to complete a separate dispute form for each unauthorized inquiry that appears on your credit reports. You may also download the dispute form and mail it to the credit bureaus.
Give the credit bureaus time to research your disputes. It can take 30 to 45 days for the credit bureaus to complete their investigation. Each credit bureau has to contact the creditor or business listed on your dispute form to find out if you gave them permission to view your credit report. The credit bureaus will contact you with the results of their investigation. If the credit bureaus discovered that any of the inquiries were unauthorized, they will remove that specific inquiry from your credit report.
Confirm that the inquiries have been deleted from your credit reports. Give the credit bureaus at least 30 days to update your information. After 30 days, order a copy of your credit report and make sure the appropriate inquiries have been removed.