The Biggest Credit Inquiries and How to Get Rid of Them

Last Update: September 13, 2021 Credit Cards Credit Report Loans

You’ve recently gotten a raise! How exciting is that?

You deserve more. So, you contact your bank institution and request a credit limit increase.

After a while, you see advertising for that nice car you dream about. Then, you contact an online program and apply for an auto loan, and the result is…

You were rejected.

As long as you remember, your credit score has been fine. What has happened? Is there any reason why you should not get that loan?

The problem is you pilled up Hard Inquiries on your credit score. It’s OK to apply for credit lines, but the nature of these applications and how they affect your score are as important as the application itself.

In this post, we’ll cover what credit inquiries are, the types of inquiries, and how to cut them out of your credit report.

What is Credit Inquiry?

A business or institution requests a credit inquiry for your credit report. The request is from a credit report agency, such as Experian, Equifax, or TransUnion.

The request happens when you apply for a credit line with a business or credit institution so they can judge your creditworthiness. They might be banks, insurance companies, credit card companies, utility companies, etc.

There are two types of inquiries: hard inquiries (or hard pulls) and soft inquiries (or soft pulls). Let’s cover each one of those types.

Soft Inquiries or Soft Pulls

Soft inquiries do not affect your credit score.

If you check your credit score personally or through a credit bureau, that’s considered a soft pull. If your employer or insurance company access your credit history to calculate your score, that’s a soft inquiry. The same rule applies if your current creditor checks your history on an ongoing credit card or loan program.

Hard Inquiries or Hard Pulls

Hard inquiries deeply affect your credit score.

If you apply to borrow from a lender, they will judge if you qualify for that loan, which counts as a hard inquiry. They will evaluate all your credit history and credit score in that process. Here are a few examples of when hard pulls happen:

  • Auto loan.
  • Student Loan.
  • Credit Card.
  • Personal Loan.
  • Business Loan.
  • Cellphone plan.
  • Credit Line increase.
  • Business credit card.
  • Employment background check.
  • Lease rental application.

When that happens, your credit report registers the hard inquiry. It will also show the lender’s name, principal, loan amount, length of time between inquiries, date of application, and type of credit.

The hard pull deducts up to 10 points from your credit score each, depending on your credit profile (history and inquiry circumstances). The FICO considers different credit inquiries in different ways. Some people may lose more points than others.

The inquiry will stay on your report for 2 years, regardless of whether your application was accepted or declined. The good news is it impacts your credit score for less than 12 months.

You know that hard inquiries affect your score. Now let’s see how to eliminate those pulls from your report.

How to Get Rid of Hard Inquiries?

Thanks to the Fair Credit Reporting Act, there’s only one way to cut Hard inquiries out of your credit report.

Dispute process.

The dispute process is available only if you did not authorize a specific hard pull on your report. There are two ways of dispute.

On the first one, you can investigate the unauthorized items on your own.

First, check your credit report and go to the “Credit Inquiries” section. Look for unauthorized items and creditors, write a formal letter, and ask each creditor (or credit bureau) to remove them. Be aware that the credit bureau will investigate the validation of your request.

The second option is to contact a professional credit repair company to help you. They are professionals who will make the process run accordingly and save you a lot of time dealing with your creditors by phone or e-mail.

Friendly tip: it’s better to hire these companies when you have other issues but are not limited to removing inquiries. Otherwise, the service might not be worth the price.

Beware! Do not trust institutions or people who promise to cut inquiries that you authorized! You cannot remove inquiries just because you’ve changed your mind or don’t want them in your report. This is not legal!

Still, there are measures you can take when waiting until your score gets back up.

Managing Your Finances During The Waiting Period

The first tip is obvious but as important as the others: Be patient. In the worst case, hard inquiries will affect your credit report by 12 months. In the meantime, you can take measures to manage your finances properly.

  • Freeze your credit report

This alternative prevents lenders or institutions from accessing your credit information. It is also extremely helpful in fraud or identity theft cases because no one can open an account on your behalf.

Important note: if you want to apply for a loan or a mortgage soon, this is not a good option because freezing and removing your report incurs fees.

  • Slow down your applications

This is by far the easiest option during your waiting period. Good financial habits or applying for credit once every 6 months (at least) helps maintain your score.

  • Take alternatives that do NOT create inquiries

Some actions cannot generate inquiries, giving you more freedom and options during the waiting period. Switching loan types (e.g., variable to a fixed rate), purchasing a prepaid phone, or closing an existing loan or line of credit are good options.

  • Rate shopping

Some crediting score models treat multiple inquiries as single inquiries, so you’re able to shop around for the same type of loan. But be careful. It depends on the type of credit you are shopping around.

For example, you may apply for an Auto Loan on multiple inquiries for the next 14 to 45 days. However, if you pretend to apply for a mortgage, it’s better to wait longer to shop around.

  • Search for pre-approved credit lines

When your credit institution sends you a pre-approved program, this is a soft inquiry. So instead of requesting for programs, be aware of pre-approved opportunities so you can keep your score up.

  • Watch your credit

To prevent any unauthorized items or fraud in your credit report, always evaluate each item periodically. In that way, you will make sure that everything is correct.


Monitoring your credit report is the easiest and most affordable way to keep track of your inquiries. Also, planning ahead and preventing your score from dropping down will prevent your report headaches.

The only inquiries you can remove from your report are the unauthorized ones. Remember to act legally and ethically with good communication with your creditors.

Are you having issues getting a credit program because you pilled up too many hard pulls? If you have any questions on how to proceed, feel free to contact us!



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