How to Check the Number of Inquiries on Your Credit Score
Your credit score plays a significant role in determining your financial health and eligibility for various loans and credit cards. One crucial aspect of your credit score is the number of inquiries made on your credit report. Inquiries occur when lenders or credit card companies request access to your credit information to assess your creditworthiness. Understanding how to check the number of inquiries on your credit score can help you monitor and manage your credit effectively. In this article, we will guide you through the process of checking inquiries on your credit score and answer some frequently asked questions on the topic.
Why are inquiries important?
Inquiries are important because they can impact your credit score. There are two types of inquiries: hard inquiries and soft inquiries. Hard inquiries occur when you apply for credit, such as a loan or credit card. These inquiries can slightly lower your credit score and remain on your credit report for up to two years. Multiple hard inquiries within a short period may be seen as a red flag by lenders, as it suggests you may be taking on too much debt.
On the other hand, soft inquiries occur when you check your own credit or when lenders perform a background check for pre-approved offers. Soft inquiries do not affect your credit score and are not visible to other lenders.
How to check the number of inquiries:
1. Obtain a copy of your credit report: Start by obtaining a copy of your credit report from one of the three major credit bureaus – Experian, Equifax, or TransUnion. Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, you are entitled to one free credit report from each bureau annually. You can request your free credit report through AnnualCreditReport.com.
2. Review the credit report: Once you have your credit report, carefully review it for any inquiries listed. Inquiries are typically found in the “Inquiry” or “Credit Inquiries” section of the report. Take note of the name of the company or lender that made the inquiry, the date it occurred, and whether it is a hard or soft inquiry.
3. Count the inquiries: Count the number of inquiries on your credit report. Keep in mind that only hard inquiries affect your credit score, so focus on these specifically. The more hard inquiries you have, the more impact they may have on your credit score.
4. Understand the impact: While it’s important to keep track of the number of inquiries, it’s equally important to understand their impact on your credit score. A few inquiries over a long period generally have a minimal effect, but multiple inquiries within a short time frame can be seen as a risk factor.
1. How often should I check my credit report for inquiries?
It is recommended to check your credit report for inquiries at least once a year, or before applying for significant credit such as a mortgage or car loan.
2. Can I remove inquiries from my credit report?
If you believe an inquiry was made without your permission or is inaccurate, you can dispute it with the credit bureau. However, legitimate inquiries cannot be removed.
3. Do soft inquiries affect my credit score?
No, soft inquiries do not affect your credit score. Only hard inquiries, which occur when you apply for credit, can impact your score.
4. Will checking my own credit report result in an inquiry?
No, checking your own credit report is considered a soft inquiry and will not impact your credit score.
5. How long do inquiries stay on my credit report?
Hard inquiries typically stay on your credit report for up to two years. However, their impact on your credit score diminishes over time.
In conclusion, monitoring the number of inquiries on your credit score is essential for maintaining a healthy credit profile. By regularly checking your credit report, you can assess the impact of inquiries and take appropriate actions to improve your creditworthiness. Remember to focus on hard inquiries, as soft inquiries do not affect your credit score.