How to Remove Hard Inquiries from Your Credit Report

Hard inquiries are made when a lender or other financial institution pulls your credit report to assess your creditworthiness. While hard inquiries can be a sign of responsible borrowing, too many of them can lower your credit score.

If you’re concerned about the impact of hard inquiries on your credit score, you may be wondering how to remove them from your credit report. In this article, we’ll explain how to remove hard inquiries from your credit report in Australia.

What is a Hard Inquiry?

A hard inquiry is a formal request made by a financial institution, such as a bank, credit card issuer, or a lender, to check your credit report when you apply for a loan, credit card, mortgage, or any other form of credit. They want to review your credit history and assess your creditworthiness before deciding whether to approve your application.

When you apply for credit, the lender needs to ensure that you are a reliable borrower who can repay the debt responsibly. To do this, they request information from credit bureaus like Equifax, Illion or Experian, which maintain records of your credit history and payment behaviour.

Now, there are two types of inquiries:

  • Hard inquiries: They occur when you actively apply for credit, and they are visible to other creditors who might later review your credit report.
  • Soft inquiries: They happen when you or a company checks your credit report for informational purposes, like a background check or pre-approved credit offers. Soft inquiries do not affect your credit score.

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How Hard Inquiries Affect Your Credit Score

Hard inquiries can lower your credit score by a few points each. The impact of a hard inquiry on your credit score depends on a number of factors, including your overall credit history and the number of other hard inquiries on your report.

If you have a good credit history and only a few hard inquiries, the impact of a new hard inquiry will be minimal. However, if you have a poor credit history or a lot of hard inquiries, a new hard inquiry could have a more significant impact on your score.

How to Remove Hard Inquiries from Your Credit Report

Here are the steps on how to remove hard inquiries from your credit report:

  1. Get a copy of your credit report from each of the three major credit bureaus (Experian, Illion and Equifax).
  2. Review your credit report carefully for any hard inquiries that you don’t recognize or that you believe are inaccurate.
  3. If you find any hard inquiries that you want to dispute, contact the credit bureau that issued the report and file a dispute. You can do this online, by mail, or by phone.
  4. When you file a dispute, you’ll need to provide the credit bureau with certain information, including your personal information (name, address, and date of birth), the date of the hard inquiry that you’re disputing, the name of the creditor who made the inquiry, and a reason for disputing the inquiry.
  5. The credit bureau will investigate your dispute and contact the creditor who made the inquiry. The creditor will have 30 days to respond to the dispute.
  6. If the creditor confirms that the hard inquiry is accurate, the credit bureau will not remove it from your credit report. However, if the creditor does not confirm the inquiry or if you can provide evidence that the inquiry is inaccurate, the credit bureau will remove it from your credit report.

How to Wait for a Hard Inquiry to Fall Off Your Credit Report

Here are some tips on how to wait for a hard inquiry to fall off your credit report:

  • Check your credit report regularly. This will help you to make sure that the inquiry is still there and that it hasn’t been replaced by another inquiry. You can get a free copy of your credit report once per year from each of the three major credit bureaus (Experian, Illion and Equifax).
  • Be patient. It takes time for hard inquiries to fall off your credit report. Two years may seem like a long time, but it’s important to be patient and not take any actions that could damage your credit score in the meantime.
  • Focus on improving your credit score in other ways. There are a number of things you can do to improve your credit score, such as paying your bills on time, keeping your credit utilisation low, and disputing any inaccurate information on your credit report. By focusing on improving your credit score in other ways, you can help to offset the negative impact of the hard inquiry.

How Difficult is it to Remove Hard Inquiries as an Australian Expat Living Overseas?

It can be difficult to remove hard inquiries as an Australian expat living overseas. This is because you may not have access to the same documentation that you would if you were living in Australia. For example, you may not have a copy of your passport or visa, which you may need to provide to the credit bureau when you dispute the inquiry.

If you’re having trouble disputing a hard inquiry, you can contact a credit repair company. However, it’s important to be aware that credit repair companies can be expensive and they may not be able to remove all of the hard inquiries from your credit report.

Get Help from our Specialist Mortgage Brokers

Hard inquiries can lower your credit score, but you can dispute them if they’re inaccurate or unauthorised. By following these steps, you can improve your credit score and make it easier to qualify for loans and credit cards in the future.

If you’re concerned about hard inquiries affecting your credit score or need assistance in improving your credit report, don’t hesitate to speak with our specialist mortgage brokers. They can guide you through the process of understanding your credit report, disputing inaccurate or unauthorised inquiries, and taking steps to enhance your credit score.

By working with our mortgage specialists, you’ll be better positioned to qualify for loans and credit cards in the future. Take charge of your financial future today and reach out to our team to get started!

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Frequently asked questions

The number of hard inquiries that you have on your credit report can have a significant impact on your credit score. However, there is no set limit on the number of hard inquiries that you can have. The impact of hard inquiries on your credit score depends on a number of factors, including your overall credit history and the number of other hard inquiries on your report.

Hard inquiries typically stay on your credit report for up to two years. However, some hard inquiries may fall off your report sooner. For example, inquiries made for pre-approved offers or inquiries made for a mortgage may fall off your report after only one year.

Yes, you can remove hard inquiries from your credit report for free if they’re inaccurate or unauthorised. You can do this by filing a dispute with the credit bureau that issued the report.

There are a few things you can do to prevent hard inquiries from affecting your credit score:

  • Only apply for loans or credit cards that you’re sure you qualify for.
  • Don’t apply for multiple loans or credit cards in a short period of time.
  • Check your credit report regularly for any unauthorised hard inquiries.

Removing hard inquiries from your credit report can help to improve your credit score. A higher credit score can make it easier to qualify for loans and credit cards with lower interest rates. It can also make it easier to rent an apartment or get a job.

Yes, you can still remove hard inquiries from your credit report even if you’re an Australian expatriate living overseas or a foreign buyer. The process is the same as for Australian residents. However, you may need to provide additional documentation to support your dispute, such as a copy of your passport or visa.

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