How do I find out who has been inquiring about my credit? If there are people that I never applied for credit with, can I get the inquiry removed, and will that help my credit score?
All you have to do is get a copy of your personal credit reports from the three national credit reporting companies. You can do so for free at www.annualcreditreport.com.
Each report includes a complete listing of who has requested that credit report. A record of a request for your report is called an "inquiry." Your personal reports will actually include two lists of inquiries.
One list shows inquiries that are the result of your application for credit or other services. Those inquiries are shown to other businesses when you apply for credit. They are considered by scoring models and can have a small negative impact on scores if the inquiries are recent.
The second list includes inquiries that are shown only to you. Employment, insurance, and preapproved credit offers are in this list. It also includes inquiries by your existing creditors for account monitoring and a record that you asked for your own report.
Because they are shown only to you, they do not affect decisions when you apply for credit or other services.
An inquiry is simply a record that someone requested your credit report. Because inquiries are added automatically at the moment the request is made and there is no question as to whether or not the inquiry occurred, you can't dispute them or have them removed. The one exception can be in cases of credit fraud.
If you discover inquiries that are the result of applications for credit, you should investigate them. They could be an indication of fraud, or they may simply be listed under a company name that is different from the name to which you applied.
A common example is applying for credit with a business that has a parent company. The inquiry and the account may appear on your credit report in the parent company's name.
If you have an inquiry indicating that you requested your own report and you didn't, you should try to determine who might have wanted your report. It is very rare, but a family member may have enough information about you to pass authentication.
Otherwise, you shouldn't worry about the inquiries on your reports. The reason the inquiries are listed is to ensure a complete and accurate record of access to your report, and that is a good thing for you.
Thanks for asking.
The "Ask Experian" team