The Frugal Creditnista

How to Remove Inquiries From Your Credit Report

When reviewing our credit reports, we often go to 2 areas first – the Adverse (negative) area and the Inquiry area. In the Inquiry section you'll find 2 types of inquires:

Hard Inquires

The type of inquiry that negatively affects your credit score.

When you complete an application online, over the phone or in person granting a lender permission to pull your credit report in hopes of obtaining a loan of some sort, this is a hard inquiry. This type of inquiry applies to credit cards, lines of credit, car loans, home loans, etc.

For credit cards, each inquiry will result in a Hard Inquiry. For student loans, car loans, and mortgage loans, and apartment hunting FICO allows you to shop around for the best rate. As long as you do your rate hunting within 45 days you'll only be ‘dinged' once for the inquiry. So.. to avoid lowering your score, make your decision relatively quickly.

Soft Inquires

The type of inquiry that does not affect your credit score.

On your credit report Soft Inquires are listed as Account Review and Promotional Inquires. Account reviews are when you pull your own credit report and when creditors that you already have a relationship with pull your credit report.
Promotional inquiries occur when a business checks your credit report in hopes of offering you their product/service; this is completely legal as long as their inquiry is marked as ‘Promotional' on your credit report. You can prevent this access, however, by visiting www.optoutprescreen.com and opting out.

So, how do you get the Hard ones off?

Well, keep in mind inquiries affect very little of your credit score and by the time you have gone through the dispute process, the effects of that inquiry has more than likely faded. And as far as credit repair goes, they are the bottom of the credit disputing train.

When a client comes to me with late payments, collections, public records and over-utilized credit accounts; I'm focusing on those first. Payment history is 35% of your credit score; Utilization is 30% of your score, those inquires account for less than 10% of your score. Obviously, tackling the ‘big' items makes more sense.

I personally only focus on removing inquires if my client has been a victim of identity theft or if a company has truly pulled their report without permission; meaning that the inquiry might lead to future identity theft.

However, I will say that a hard inquiry can drop your score as much as 10pts, and if you're looking to make a credit-based purchase, disputing an inquiry for those few points can make a difference. Keep in mind that disputing an inquiry will result in a Fraud Alert being placed on your credit. A fraud alert will tell a business that they must verify your identity first prior to issuing any form of credit. It lasts for 90 days, so if you're in the process of rebuilding you may experience a delay in getting approved for any form of credit; this doesn't mean you'll get denied, but you may get something in the mail or a phone call asking for hard copies of your personal info (ssn card/ID,etc).

To remove an inquiry you can either dispute with the creditor that has it listed or directly with the credit bureaus. With the original creditor you'd have to approach it as a ‘Remove As A Good Will' or ‘Remove Because I Never Authorized This Transaction' (often referred to as a Good Lie Letter if you really did give them access to your report). If you choose the latter, it will only work if the lender does not have documentation with your ‘wet' signature or recorded telephone conversation where you clearly gave them permission to access your accounts.

To dispute with the bureaus you'd have to take the ‘Remove Because I Never Authorized This Transaction and Therefore They Did Not Have Permissible Purpose' approach.' Credit bureaus cannot give just any company access to our credit information. The business must have ‘permissible purpose'.

Permissible purpose is defined in detail by the Fair Credit Reporting Act, Section 604. Basically if we did not give written permission, if credit access was not court ordered, or requested by a State/Local government agency in relation to child support, the company shouldn't have access to our credit information. Prior to placing any inquiry on our credit report; the bureaus should have proof that one of these events took place.

I'll post popular templates of Inquiry Removal Letters below; you can find more dispute letter templates inside of my free online community, CreditMakesSense.me.

Templates are just that… Templates. The best dispute letters are personal and customized to fit your unique credit circumstances 🙂 For more info on goodwill letters click here.

Original Credit Inquiry Removal Template:

[Your Full Name]
[Current Address]

[Creditor's Name]
[Creditor's Address]

RE: Unauthorized Credit Inquiry

To Whom It May Concern,

This letter is a notice to cease unauthorized inquires into my credit report and a formal demand that you immediately contact the credit reporting agencies and bureaus to have your illegal inquiries removed. While checking my personal credit report from {insert Credit bureau name}, I noticed an inquiry made by your organization.

The details of the inquiry are as follows:

Line number: [Line Number]
Inquiry made on: [Inquiry Date]
Inquiry made by: [Creditor]

To the best of my knowledge I have not approved your organization, any person associated with your organization, to make such an inquiry. This violates the Fair Credit Reporting Act, Section 1681b(c): Transactions Not Initiated by Consumer. I also demand that you remove my personal information from your records. Please send written confirmation that you have complied.

If you believe that you posses sufficient document that supports your authorization to make the inquiry, please forward a copy so that I may verify its validity.

I am using certified mail to ensure that you receive this letter and expect a prompt response.


[Full Name]

Credit Bureau Inquiry Removal Template:


Your Name
Your Address

Credit Bureau
Credit Bureau Address

To Whom it May Concern:

I recently pulled a copy of my credit report and noticed the following information are in error

RE: Inquires:

The FCRA states that the only permissible purpose for pulling someone's credit report is a) firm offer of credit b) insurance c) employment or d) a court order.

The following inquiries are related to none of the aforementioned permissible purposes.
1. ABC Banking
2. Midwest Credit Card
3. FindYourLuck Shopping

Please remove these inquiries from my credit report. I have enclosed a copy of my driver's license as proof of identity.


Your Name

For more free dispute letter templates, please visit my free online community, CreditMakesSense.me!