A credit application removal letter is a resource you will use if you find an unauthorized hard request on your credit report. You tell the credit bureau that you have not consented to the survey and ask them to remove it.
Let’s take a look at what an unauthorized investigation is, how it can get on your credit report, what you can do about it, and what you can do if identity theft was the cause of the investigation.
Why worry about unauthorized inquiries?
A hard inquiry or hard pull occurs when a creditor or lender checks your creditworthiness
👉 No one can do a hard investigation of your credit report unless you give permission to do so. Usually your signature on an application form authorizes the hard examination. Any hard request not supported by your signature is unauthorized.
It is important to understand the difference between hard questions and soft questions. Soft questions may be asked without your consent. You are the only one who can see them and they do not affect your creditworthiness.
Hard questions affect your creditworthiness. They are part of the New Credit portion of the FICO score calculation. Having too many questions can indicate to a creditor that you are financially unstable.
When you’re looking for unauthorized questions on your credit report, you’re dealing with hard questions. An unauthorized hard investigation can hurt your credit score. It can also be an early warning sign of identity theft.
How do you know if an investigation is unauthorized?
If you’re not already signed up for a credit monitoring service, it can be difficult to spot a fraudulent or unauthorized credit inquiry.
You start by preparing your credit reports. Not one, but all. Many lenders will only hire one credit bureau when doing a hard investigation, so you’ll have to sift through all of your reports.
Hard questions appear in the Credit History Questions/Requests section of your credit report. Each survey lists the lender who conducted the survey along with the date the survey was completed.
💡 If you do not immediately recognize the question, a good first step is to contact the listed lender. They can help you confirm why your credit was withdrawn and who authorized it.
If the investigation was a simple mistake, that is, someone typed in the wrong Social Security number, he or she should be able to fix the mistake for you. You may also have consented to a study without realizing it.
If the lender confirms that the investigation was unauthorized and not a clerical error, you must remove the investigation from your report (dispute) and take steps to prevent future fraudulent activity.
How do you write a credit application removal letter?
When you are writing a letter of deleting a credit application, there is some important information that you should include. For example, you must provide your personal details, information about the investigation you are disputing and your official request to open an investigation (dispute).
Below is a sample credit application removal letter to get you started.
From: [Your Name]
[City]† [State] [Zip]
To: [Credit Bureau Name]
[City]† [State] [Zip]
RE: Request for Improper Credit Inquiry Inquiry To whom it may concern, I am writing to dispute an unauthorized inquiry into my credit report. I requested a copy of my credit report from your organization at [date you pulled your credit report] and noted a credit inquiry that I did not authorize. I got in touch [Lender’s Name] regarding the unauthorized application and requested that the application be removed from my credit profile. At this time, I request that you initiate an investigation into the investigation by: [Lender’s Name] to determine who has given permission for this. If you determine that my claim is true and the investigation is invalid, please remove it from my credit report and send an updated copy of my credit report to the above address after the investigation is resolved. If you believe the investigation is justified, please send me proof along with a description of your investigation procedures within 15 days of the termination of this dispute. Thanks in advance for your help with this matter. Honestly,
[Your Name Printed]
Once this letter is complete, you can send it to the appropriate credit bureau. Each agency may impose additional requirements on the information you must include with your dispute letter. This includes proof of identity, your citizen service number (BSN), proof of residence, etc.
Experian Requirements TransUnion Requirements Equifax Requirements
Although it costs nothing to start a dispute, it is highly recommended that you send your letter by certified mail; this way you will have clear documentation as to when it was received.
You can send your letter and copies of other required documents to the three credit bureaus at the following addresses:
PO Box 4500
Allen, TX 75013
Equifax Information Services, LLC
PO Box 740256
Atlanta, GA 30374-0256
Consumer solutions from TransUnion
PO Box 2000
Chester, P.A. 19016
Disputing a difficult investigation online
All three major credit bureaus support initiating a dispute online. Starting an online dispute can save you time and money compared to starting a dispute by mail or telephone.
To start a dispute, you must create an account with the credit bureau. With this account you can initiate disputes, upload documents and check the status of your dispute.
After you have created an account, you can file a dispute. The credit bureau will then review the information, ask you for supporting documentation if necessary, and communicate with the lender to obtain more information. For full details on how to create an account and initiate a dispute, please refer to each credit bureau’s disputes page.
💡 Some credit bureaus offer additional features with an account, such as setting up fraud alerts, viewing updated credit reports, etc.
How long does the dispute last?
A dispute can be resolved within a few days if the lender agrees with the dispute and responds quickly to the credit bureau. The Fair Credit Reporting Act requires the credit bureau to respond to your dispute in writing within 30 days.
If the outcome of the dispute is in your favor, the unauthorized investigation will be immediately removed from your credit report. If the outcome of the dispute is not in your favor, you can always attempt to restart a dispute with additional documentation of your claim.
Stop future fraudulent investigations
When you find fraudulent requests in your credit report(s), you must take steps to prevent future fraudulent investigations when you begin the dispute process. You will have to assess the situation. Was there one unauthorized investigation or many? Has someone actually opened an account in your name?
👉 If you determine that identity theft has occurred, your first stop should be the Federal Trade Commission’s identity theft website. You will find complete instructions for reporting and recovering identity theft.
Some of the actions you can take include:
File a police report Send an identity theft complaint to creditors and banks Notify the credit bureaus of fraudulent activity Place a fraud alert on your credit Set a credit lock or freeze Use identity theft insurance and recovery services
Most importantly, you want to keep checking your credit reports for any future fraudulent activity.
Will Disputing an Investigation Improve Your Credit?
In the case of fraud, it is always important to take steps to investigate the unauthorized investigation as this can help prevent future fraudulent activity. There is no guarantee that disputing the survey will affect your credit score. FICO estimates that a single application affects your credit score by less than 5 points.
Hard questions are part of what makes up the New Credit portion of your credit score. However, this factor only represents 10% of your total credit score. Not all hard questions are weighted the same way. Newer applications have the greatest impact. Once questions are 1 year old, they will no longer affect your credit score. And after 2 years they fall off your credit report.
When you’re suffering from identity theft or fraud, removing a hard inquiry from your credit reports is probably the furthest thing from your mind. And that’s okay. You can choose to deal with the fraud first and worry about recovering your credit later.
But once you get around to starting disputes with the credit bureau(s), the process is thankfully simple. You can submit a dispute free of charge by post or online and you are guaranteed to receive a response within 30 days.
So don’t worry. Start the dispute and the problem should be solved quickly.
Do you have questions about writing a credit application deletion letter? Let us know in the comments!
This post How do you write a credit application removal letter?
was original published at “https://finmasters.com/credit-inquiry-removal-letter/”