How to remove credit enquiries from your report

Find out how long credit inquiries stay on your report and how to remove invalid credit inquires.

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Lenders use details of your credit history to help them determine your eligibility for loan products. This includes the number of enquiries you've made.

These credit enquiries stay on your credit report for five years. If you have too many credit enquiries on your file in a short amount of time, it can negatively impact your credit score and your ability to get the card or loan you want. You can use this guide to learn about what credit enquiries are, your options for removing them or reducing them and what else you need to consider to optimise your credit report.

Can I remove an enquiry from my credit report?

You can't remove a legitimate enquiry from your credit report. In most cases, you will have to wait until the five years has passed. After this, they are removed from your history.

In general, the only details that can be removed from your credit report are those that are incorrect or erroneous. This includes if a lender made an enquiry without proper authorisation from you. Another example is if your name was attached to an account you never opened or if an account was incorrectly listed as "in default". In these cases, you can submit a request to have the incorrect details removed from your file.

How to remove incorrect details and enquiries from your credit report in 4 steps

  1. Review your credit report. Start by getting a copy of your credit report, which you can do for free with finder. You can then go through all the credit enquiries and other details on record. Count the total number of enquiries and reference against the enquiries you know you have made. This includes loan, utility and credit card applications. Flag any enquiries that are unfamiliar or which you can't recall approving.
  2. Follow up on unfamiliar enquiries. If you have identified an enquiry you don't remember making, now's the time to contact the lender associated with it. Find out what the enquiry was made for and why to establish whether you approved it or not. Note that sometimes you can give approval simply by ticking a box on a form. For example, if you consented to receive credit limit increase offers on your credit card in the past, and then accepted an offer, it could've left a new enquiry on your credit report.
  3. Submit a request for incorrect details to be removed. If you have followed up on unfamiliar enquiries and still feel that authorisation was not properly given, submit a request to the credit reporting body to have it removed. Make sure your request is to the credit reporting body that issued your credit file. This is because the details may vary between them. For example, if you got your credit file from Equifax, you would submit a request to Equifax to have incorrect listings removed.
  4. Wait for an outcome. The credit reporting body will then review your request and the details, before providing you with an outcome. If you are successful, it will be removed. If you are unsuccessful, the listing will remain for the allocated time (such as five years from when an enquiry was made).

Alternatively, you may want to seek help from a company that offers credit repair for a fee. These organisations may be able to help you find and remove incorrect listings from your credit file. However, it's important to note that they can't remove any legitimate credit details on your file.

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What is a credit enquiry?

There are two main types of credit enquiries: "soft" enquiries and "hard" enquiries.

A soft enquiry is recorded any time you request a copy of your credit file and doesn't really have an impact on your credit score.

A "hard" enquiry refers to any request for your credit file that's made by a third party, such as a lender. For instance, every time you apply for a line of credit, such as a card or personal loan, the lender you've applied with will submit a request for your credit file. This request is recorded on your credit history as a "hard credit enquiry". While a few of these enquiries is usually fine, too many hard enquiries on your credit file can suggest to lenders that you are not able to manage credit accounts responsibly. This may lead to a declined application.

How do I know if I have "too many credit enquiries"?

If you're concerned about the number of enquiries on your credit history, the first step is to get a copy of your credit file. You can check your credit report and credit score for free with finder and we'll notify you when something on your report changes, such as a credit enquiry.

When you get your free credit report and look at your credit enquiries, it's important to note that it's not so much about the total number of enquiries as it is about the time between them. Less time between credit enquiries increases the chances that they will have a negative impact on your credit score.

For example, if you have applied for five credit cards in a period of three months and have five hard enquiries as a result, it is likely to be considered as a negative detail on your file. In contrast, having five hard credit enquiries listed over a period of five years may have less of an impact.

Credit score in the Finder app

Want a better way to check your credit score?

Banks know your credit score, so why shouldn't you? The Finder app updates your score automatically each month and lets you know if it changes. Pop in your phone number below to get your download link.

I have too many enquiries on my credit file, what should I do now?

Improving your credit file takes time, but you can start optimising it by following the tips below:

  • Limit new applications. You can keep the number of credit enquiries on your file down by only applying for new products when it's necessary. Applying for one account at a time and waiting a few months between applications will also help keep your credit enquiries to a minimum.
  • Pay your accounts by the due date. Information about late payments can also have a negative impact on your credit file. Aim to make repayments by the due date on your statements.
  • Settle outstanding debts. Repay any debts you can afford to pay off. This can show lenders that you are responsible with money.
  • Close old accounts. Go through your credit file and check if there are any accounts that are still open that you don't use. For example, an old joint electricity account from a sharehouse. Closing these or removing your name from them will ensure that only current, relevant details are on your credit report.

How long do inquiries stay on your credit report?

Two years

    • Your repayment history information will stay on your report for two years.

Five years

      • Any credit enquiry
      • Overdue accounts listed as a payment default
      • Overdue accounts listed as clearouts
      • Writs and summons
      • Court judgments

Seven years

      • Overdue accounts listed as a serious credit infringement

What can I do if a provider declines my application?

If you have followed the credit repair tips above and still receive an unsuccessful outcome on your next card or loan application, be patient. Aim to wait around six months before submitting another application, and carefully review your options and eligibility when you do. These steps can also improve your chances of getting approved.

You may also want to consider contacting the lender that declined your application to see if you can find out why. Most lenders won't provide a specific reason, but it doesn't hurt to ask.

Learn more about credit card repair

Removing incorrect details and enquiries from your credit file can have a positive effect on your creditworthiness. However, it's not a solution for any legitimate details recorded on your file. Consider this before contacting a credit repair company and weigh up your other options for improving your credit report.

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63 Responses

    Default Gravatar
    KyleeJuly 8, 2019

    Hi,

    It says I have 2 credit suppliers on my record. I know 1 is a default which I’ve nearly paid off but I’m not sure what the other 1 is. How do I find out?

      Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JeniJuly 9, 2019Staff

      Hi Kylee,

      Thank you for getting in touch with Finder.

      I understand that you’re seeing 2 defaults on your credit report. There are scenarios where the credit provider you have default with forwarded your defaulted balance to a debt collecting agency and the record will show 2 default – one from the original provider you had the default with and the other one is with the debt collecting bureau. You’d find out if it was a debt collecting agency once you see the provider’s name. If still unsure on this matter, you may contact our provider, Experian as we obtain credit info from their data.

      I hope this helps.

      Thank you and have a wonderful day!

      Cheers,
      Jeni

    Default Gravatar
    DavinDecember 3, 2018

    I have 10 credit enquires in my credit file! I knew that it will stay in my credit report file for five years ! But i don’t know how long does that credit enquires affect to my credit file ? Can i apply for a credit card again after 1 year passed? Or do i have to wait until 5 years passed before i can apply a credit card again ?

      Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JohnDecember 3, 2018Staff

      Hi Davin,

      Thank you for leaving a question.

      For a legit credit inquiry, you’ll simply have to wait two years to have a hard inquiry taken off your credit report — though it’ll only impact your credit score a year at most. On the other hand, a soft pull on your credit can only be seen by you and has no affect on your credit score. You may take out a free credit report from us after a year to check if an improvement is seen. Hope this helps!

      Cheers,
      Reggie

    Default Gravatar
    PaulineApril 26, 2018

    I have 42 credit enquiries in my credit file other that my credit file is clear can I get them removed

      Default Gravatar
      JoelApril 26, 2018

      Hi Pauline,

      Thanks for leaving a question on finder.

      You can’t remove a legitimate enquiry from your credit file. In most cases, you will simply have to wait until five years has passed and they are taken off your history.

      In general, the only details that can be removed from your credit file are those that are incorrect or erroneous. For example, if a lender made an enquiry without proper authorisation from you, if your name was attached to an account you never opened, or if an account was incorrectly listed as “in default”. In these cases, you can submit a request to have the incorrect details removed from your file.

      If the inquiries are unauthorized, the first way is to tackle the dispute process on your own. Get the address of each creditor whom you did not approve to perform a hard inquiry. Then send them a certified letter in the mail (make sure you keep a copy for your records) stating that the inquiry was unauthorized and should be removed immediately.

      Cheers,
      Joel

    Default Gravatar
    YvonneMarch 25, 2018

    I have had over 5 enquiries this month on my credit file which I dont believe I have done how can I fix this?

      Avatarfinder Customer Care
      DeeMarch 25, 2018Staff

      Hi Yvonne,

      Thanks for your question.

      If you think that those enquiries are erroneous, you can directly contact your credit reporting body (CRB) and request to have those enquiries removed. Once you have submitted your request, the CRB will then review your request and the details, before providing you with an outcome. If you are unsuccessful, the listing will remain for the allocated time (eg. five years from when an enquiry was made), and if you are successful it will be removed.

      I hope this helps.

      Cheers,
      Anndy

    Avatarfinder Customer Care
    JonathanFebruary 22, 2018Staff

    Hi Denise, thanks for your inquiry.

    Did Experian state why the record had to stay? Would it be possible for the lender to provide formal evidence (written letter/ email) to confirm the removal of this default?

    Hope this helps.

    Jonathan

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