Disputes and Credit Inquiries

Credit inquiries occur when someone with a valid business reason, or permissible purpose, checks your credit report. All inquiries stay on your credit report for two years.

  • If you don't recognize an inquiry, you should contact the company that checked your credit using the contact information in your credit report
  • A company doesn't always need your authorization to view your credit report as long as they have a permissible purpose
disputes inquiries

What do I do if I see an inquiry I don’t recognize on my credit report?

  1. Contact the lender directly to ask them about the inquiry. If they find it was made in error, ask them to inform the credit reporting agencies.
  2. If the lender finds the inquiry was made fraudulently, report it to the FTC. You’ll receive documentation, which you can use when disputing the fraudulent inquiry to the credit reporting agencies. Use our Fraud Companion Guide for step-by-step help.

What's the difference between a hard inquiry vs soft inquiry?

Hard Inquiry

  • Occurs when a potential lender obtains your credit information in connection with a credit application
  • Can be seen by lenders
  • May impact your credit score

Soft Inquiry

  • Occurs if you pull your own credit report using a monitoring service or get it directly from the credit reporting agency
  • Can also occur when a company you already have a business relationship with pulls your report before they make a marketing offer to you, or if a potential employer checks your credit when you apply for a job
  • Can only be seen by you
  • Won’t impact your credit score

If you’re interested in learning when and why your lenders are pulling your credit report, reach out to them.

What You Need to Know:

The credit scores provided are based on the VantageScore® 3.0 model. Lenders use a variety of credit scores and are likely to use a credit score different from VantageScore® 3.0 to assess your creditworthiness.

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