There are many types of credit repair, including hard inquiry removal. However, knowing how this service works is necessary before you pay a company to do the work for you.
Credit repair companies remove hard inquiries by submitting a credit dispute stating that the charge was fraudulent. Only fraudulent or inaccurate inquiries are eligible for removal.
Furthermore, you do not necessarily need a credit repair company to submit the dispute for you. You can do it yourself by contacting the credit bureaus directly.
Learn more about hard credit removal services and whether or not it is the right option for you in this guide.
How Does Hard Inquiry Removal Service Work?
Many credit repair businesses promise to remove derogatory marks and hard inquiries from your credit report. However, there are specific criteria that you have to meet to win a credit dispute.
When you sign up for hard inquiry removal service, the company will pull your credit report and ask you for information about the items found. If you did not authorize the inquiries, the company will ask you to sign a dispute form, and they will submit it to the credit bureaus where the inquiry appears.
After the company submits your dispute, it takes credit reporting agencies around 30 days to complete an investigation. If they are unable to verify the authenticity, they will remove them.
What are Hard Inquiries on Your Credit Report?
When you apply for credit, most lenders pull your credit report and FICO score. When they do, the credit reporting agencies add a hard inquiry to your report.
Credit inquiries stay on your credit report for up to two years and usually only cause your score to drop a few points. However, if someone illegally applies for credit in your name with numerous lenders, the inquiries can take a toll on your score and cause lenders to deny a legitimate application.
If you are shopping loan rates, you have a 45-day window to compare loans without each inquiry negatively impacting your FICO score because most score modeling agencies lump the inquiries together if they are for a single loan product. So, if you receive rates from several lenders within the allotted time for a new credit card or a home mortgage, each of those inquiries will not lower your score.
You have a shorter period when it comes to Vantage scores. Lenders less frequently use Vantage credit scores. However, Vantage score models only lump inquiries within 14 days into one.
How Much Does Hard Inquiry Removal Cost?
There is no charge for disputing discrepancies on your credit report if you go the DIY route. Credit repair companies charge anywhere from $49.95 per month to $350 to remove between one and five inquiries.
Should You Pay for Hard Inquiry Removal?
The truth is, you do not need a company to submit hard inquiry disputes on your behalf. You can do it yourself by visiting the three major credit bureaus and disputing each fraudulent inquiry.
If you have other credit issues you want to address and lack time to dispute inaccuracies on your reports, it may be a good idea to work with a specialist. However, you can save money in many cases and receive faster results by submitting the disputes yourself.
The dispute process only takes a few minutes, and you can dispute hard inquiries, credit account inaccuracies, and other factors affecting your score negatively simultaneously. However, you must complete the process on each credit reporting agency site or through a free app like Credit Karma.
Final Advice on How Hard Inquiry Removal Service Works
Identity theft is the only reason Equifax, Transunion, and Experian will remove hard inquiries from your credit profile. If you are a victim of fraud, you can submit disputes for hard inquiries yourself in a few minutes.
So, if you are considering a hard inquiry removal service, you may want to do the work. The outcome will likely be the same either way.
For help with other personal finance matters, like what to do if your 401k is losing money, read the other informative guides on our site.