Inquiries on your Credit Report
Posted: Friday, September 19, 2014
If you have ever taken a look at your credit report, you have
probably noticed a section titled, "Inquiries" at the end of
report. Inquiries are requests made by a company to review
your report for a variety of different reasons. While most
consumers understand that these inquiries can affect your credit
score, the subject can still raise a lot of questions.
Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act ("FCRA"), credit reporting
agencies are required to compile a list of all the companies that
requested a copy of your consumer report and to provide you with a
list of those companies upon request. This list appears at
the end of your credit report and must include the name of any
company or business that requested your
report for the one to two years prior depending on the purpose of
The most commonly asked question about inquiries is whether or
not they will damage your score. The answer, depends on what
type of inquiry you are asking about. Thereare two different
types of inquiries, and they are referred to in the industry
as "hard" and"soft". The first type, a"hard" inquiry or pull,
is one which you apply for credit or a loan andthe company that is
reviewing whether to give you that credit pulls your report.This
type of inquiry will affect your score and the more of these"hard"
inquiries you have the more your score will be impacted.
Often times, the
credit reporting agencies will look at the type of company that
is pulling your report and if you are shopping around for credit
the inquiries will be grouped together and considered a single
inquiry instead of multiple.
The second type of inquiry, a "soft" inquiry or pull, is where
your existing creditors review your report. A soft inquiry
does not affect your score in any way. As a consumer, you may
also pull your credit report as often as you like without any
affect to your score. These are also referred to as
"account reviews". Also, soft inquiries can be promotional
In that instance, your name, not your report, was given out to a
potential creditor who wishes to make a firm offer of credit to you
because your credit meets certain criteria. This is often why
you may receive credit card offers in the mail.
If after reviewing your report a company is listed that accessed
your report without your permission, you are entitled to dispute
the inquiry under the FCRA. First and foremost, do not
automatically assume that if you do not recognize the name of a
creditor that accessed your credit file that it means the access
was fraudulent or impermissible. Often times when applying
for a loan or for line of credit companies use different names or
banks to run your credit. You can easily request the name and
address of any company that accessed your credit and if it still
looks unfamiliar you can dispute the impermissible access with the
credit reporting agency. Just like when you dispute an
account on yourreport, the credit reporting agency must investigate
your dispute and respond to your request within 30 days.
If you would like more information regarding your credit report
and the inquiries made into your credit file, contact SmithMarco P.C. for a completely
free case review.