Credit Repair Program -- Step 10. Unauthorized Inquiries
This step addresses the inquiry section of your credit report (the last section on your credit report). Inquiries are made by potential employers, insurance agents, current creditors and potential lenders. The credit bureau also might give your contact information to those who want to send you offers in the mail. Too many inquiries on your credit report can drag down your credit rating since other lenders will see them and think you are shopping around for too much credit. It is estimated that excessive credit inquiries can lower your credit score by three points per inquiry. Your credit score does not suffer if it is apparent you are shopping for a mortgage loan and are applying with several different mortgage lenders within a several day period.
Under federal law, anyone accessing your credit report must have your permission first (except the FBI). Although it is a violation of the Fair Credit Reporting Act, sometimes companies access your credit report without permission and make "inquiries".
Although you cannot have legitimate inquiries removed from your credit report, you can write a letter requesting unauthorized inquiries be deleted from your credit report (See Sample Letters 2, 14, and 16).
Make sure you understand the coding surrounding the inquiry section of your credit report before you start writing nasty letters to companies who were simply given your name and address and nothing more. There are different types of inquiries, and some of them involve disclosing your name and address. An example of this type of inquiry would be a credit card company who sends you offers for pre-approved credit cards. This type of inquiry never allowed them access to your complete credit report. [If you want this type of inquiry to stop, contact one of the three major credit bureaus and ask them to send you a form to complete requesting your name and contact information not be given to anyone in the future without your permission. Or, you can opt out online at the credit bureau websites. See "Opting Out of Credit Offers"]
The only type of inquiry you should respond to is any unauthorized inquiries wherein a company actually accessed your complete credit report without your permission. A good example of this occurs when shopping for a car. A sales person might try to find out your name so that he or his employee can quickly pull your credit report (using the computer) while you're still out on the car lot deciding if you want to make a purchase.
Lastly, don't get too upset if you have too many inquiries on your credit report. Inquiries by themselves won't keep you from getting approved for a loan, and are not a permanent part of your credit report (there are deleted after two years. Not all inquiries are made available to everyone who pulls your credit report. Routine checks made by your creditors, yourself, or the credit bureau are not made available to outsiders.