How do hard inquiries affect on your credit score?

credit card and money
Maintaining credit scores and understanding how it works is an important task. There is a possibility that your credit report could have errors that might be damaging your credit scores. Or the credit cards that are not in use could backfire against you. Even sometimes when your credit report is accessed by some retailers or financial institutions, the credit inquiries could damage your score however some others don’t.

If you are not aware of such situations, your credit worthiness could seriously be at risk in the eyes of a potential lender, so keep yourself well educated in this regard.

But first we must discuss about credit inquiries and how do they affect your credit?

What is hard inquiry?

Requests made by “legitimate business” to check up on your credit are referred as credit inquiries.

When it comes to FICO score, credit inquiries can be classified into hard inquiries and soft inquiries, but only hard inquiries have affect on your FICO score.

Soft inquiries are those where a prospective lender does not review your credit. In these inquiries you check up your own credit (checking your own FICO score), promotional offers from credit card companies or offers from other businesses their goods and services, inquiries made by businesses with whom you already have a credit account.

In hard inquiries, prospective lenders check up on your credit because you have applied for credit with them. Such as credit checks when you have applied for auto loan, mortgage or credit card. All such types of credit checks are considered as single credit inquiry.

But you can expect to see an exception at the time of “rate shopping”. It’s a clever idea and your FICO score considers all inquiries within 45 day period to be a single credit inquiry. Similar guideline is also applied to a search for any other rental property such as an apartment.

Such inquiries are recorded as real-estate related inquiry by the credit bureau and your FICO score treats them likewise. So if you do apartment hunting quicker, your FICO score will not go any down.

Affect of hard inquiries on credit score

FICO score only considers voluntary inquiries that result from credit application so there is a slight chance that inquiries always affect your FICO score.

The inquiries that may affect your FICO score includes:

  • Number of recently opened accounts, the type of accounts opened, and the proportion of accounts recently opened.
  • Amount of recent credit inquiries made
  • By type of account, the time it took for recent account opening
  • Time since credit inquiries
  • FICO score does not consider involuntary inquiries made by businesses with whom you did not apply for credit, or your own request to view your credit.

For some people, one additional credit inquiry such as the one that’s voluntary and have been used to apply for credit might not affect their FICO score while for others, one additional credit inquiry could lessen 5 points from their FICO score.

Inquiries have a vast impact even if you have few accounts or short credit history. But larger number of inquiries has greater risk: people having sic inquiries are at more risk to be in bankruptcy then people with no inquiries at all.

Process of removing hard inquiries from credit reports

The only type of inquiries to remove is hard inquiries as they pose a great threat in the eyes of a creditor.

One method to remove hard inquiry is to dispute through a certified letter sent to the credit bureaus.

Your letter for removal of credit inquiry must include details as to why are you writing the letter (issuing over an inquiry), the company that asked for your information, the reason you are disputing (usually there is a noticeable and authorized change in your account activity), and your request of removing it.

It would be better if you could also attach your credit report with your letter highlighting the inquiries that better indicate the items you are disputing over and requesting a removal of. If you have multiple inquiries then it’s better to number them in your letter.

It is not necessary for you to remove inquiries when your credit score is good but in terms of bad score it becomes essential. Hypothetically its removal leads to increase in 5-10 points in financing at 10.99% or 15.99%.

Also it is best practice that you do not apply for credit until the inquiries fall off, let the process complete its course.

How long do hard inquiries last?

One of the ways is writing a formal letter for the removal of hard inquiries the alternate is to let those hard inquiries fall off on their own. Hard inquiries can last as long as 24 months. But the good news is, the hard inquiry might not affect your score after 12 months it wasn’t affecting your score before.


Hard inquiries may seem like a small piece of credit score pie but they can fiercely affect you financially. They are present on your report openly exhibiting your credit history and depending on the initiator of the request to view your credit.

Your inquiries give knowledge into how frequently somebody is taking a top to offer you a tempting open door for another credit extension or how regularly you are asking for extra credit. On the off chance that you have a huge number of request, you can show up as a credit hazard to potential creditors; and on the off chance that you didn’t approve those request you should act against them.

The objective is to expel the inquiries by composing a letter to the credit organizations or potentially the creditor on record. On the off chance that you are not comfortable with this procedure or not an extraordinary formal letter writer, you can procure a credit repair organization to help with the request expulsions, alongside the evacuation of other negative things that can burden your credit score.