Each time you apply for credit, whether for a car, credit card, or whatever, an inquiry is left on your file. This tells potential creditors who and where you have been applying for credit with. Too many inquires within a certain period of time is bad for your score. It becomes even worse if you have many inquiries, but no accompanying open accounts for them. A creditor may think that there was good reason why you were turned down by other creditors and deny you based upon that assumption.
You are granted exception when applying for a car loan or home mortgage. As long as these inquiries come the same type of lender within 30-45 days, they are counted as one inquiry. The time span has changed over the years. I read from a credit bureau representative that the time span was changed because people began taking longer and researching more when making important purchases.
Of course, inquiries can be challenged just like any other account. They usually stay on your record about 24 months. Credit inquires done by yourself are not shown to potential creditors, therefore won’t affect your score. Also soft inquires, done by other companies won’t affect your score either. The bureaus make money from selling the information they’ve gathered on you and everyone else. A company my buy a list created based on specific criteria. Age, geographic, credit score range are just some of the factors that may be used to compile a list.
One method that may work best if the dispute method fails is to simply ask the creditor to remove it from their records. When the bureau’s computer comes to get the monthly information, the inquire won’t show anymore. First, make sure you have been paying on time. Second, it helps if you have a valid good reason, such as purchasing a house.