I recently found out that a car dealership pulled a hard inquiry on my credit without my consent. I also had a password protected account with them. The employee at the dealership who pulled it admitted that he did this and did not have my consent. What should I do?
Your first step would be to contact management at the dealership. Inquiries appear on your credit report as a record of activity. However, if the dealership agrees that credit report was requested in error, they can contact Experian and request that the inquiry be removed so that it is no longer factored in when calculating your credit scores.
The dealership can also issue a letter to you verifying that the report was pulled in error and requesting that the inquiry be removed from your report. You can then submit a copy of that letter to Experian along with your request for removal. Such documentation can be uploaded online, or mailed to the address listed on your credit report.
Inquiries have minimal impact on credit scores. All inquiries for auto loans that occur within a 30-day period are excluded from the score calculation by the latest FICO scoring systems, so you may not have to be concerned about it at all. Other scores count all inquiries for auto loans within a specific period as only one inquiry, so they have little or no effect.
Another thing to know about inquiries is that the small impact they have diminishes even more with time. Usually, within a matter of a few months they have virtually no effect, even though they remain in a credit report for two years. For example, FICO scores don't count inquiries that are more than 12 months old.
You should definitely contact the dealership about the issue, but you probably don't need to worry about the inquiry having a significant impact on your credit scores.
Thanks for asking.
The "Ask Experian" team