Hard Inquiries

What is a hard inquiry?

Hard inquiries are credit checks made by a potential loan grantor in order to review a potential client’s credit report after he applied for credit with them. There are also included credit checks if the client has applied for auto loan, mortgage or credit card.

Contrary to soft inquiries, hard inquiries have negative impact on the credit score, lowering it by several points. Commonly, one hard inquiry isn’t going to hurt the credit score much, whether the client is approved for a new card or loan, or denied. The credit score will gradually improve even before the hard inquiry will be removed from the credit report.

How Long Hard Inquiries Stay on Your Credit?

Hard inquiries remain on the credit report for two years, but they do not have negative impact on the credit score for this long. Normally, a hard inquiry affects negatively the credit score for not longer than twelve months and only when there is more than one.

Although credit score drops by a few points after applying for credit, multiple inquiries in a short period of time counts as a single inquiry when applying for mortgage, auto or student loan.

The credit score isn’t affected by a single hard inquiry. It isn’t affected even by two hard inquiries. However, if there are three hard inquiries within 12 months, there will be some small change in the credit score.

How to Remove Inquiries From Your Credit Report?

It is recommended to keep in check the credit reports. If any errors are noticed, such as appearance of a hard inquiry on the credit report without client’s permission, it is recommended to dispute it with the credit agency.

In order to remove a hard inquiry from the credit report, it is necessary that they meet a certain standard. In case there have been made errors and there are inquiries qualified for removal, the client can write the dispute letter to the credit bureau.

The client can also contact the credit bureaus directly where the unjustified inquiry has appeared. As not all creditors report all information to all 3 biggest credit agencies, it may happen that some inquiries will appear on only one or the other credit report.

It is recommended to keep track of all the correspondence and supporting files that are send to and received from creditors and/or credit agencies.

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