Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Bumping Inquiries Off Your Credit Report

For more on credit, read the Credit Education Series.

Update 07/16

A credit tip for the advanced user

Every time you apply for a credit card, you get an inquiry on your credit report. Lots of credit cards mean lots of inquiries. This can be a problem, because each inquiry lowers your score a little. Also, you don't want a potential creditor seeing all those inquiries.

That's where Bumping comes into play. Your credit report keeps a record of all your inquiries. These are called hard pulls. The more inquiries you have, the lower your score. Your credit report also keeps a record of all your soft pulls which don't affect your credit. Soft pulls occur when you check your own report or when a company checks your report in order to give you a preapproved offer.

Now, it seems that Equifax and Transunion only have a limited amount of space to record both your hard and soft pulls. So, if you manage to 'collect' enough soft pulls, it could push the older hard pulls off your report! According to people on Fatwallet who try this on a regular basis, bumping does not work with Experian.

Not all credit monitoring services let you refresh your report every day. Some only allow you to pull your report once a month. For bumping purposes, you need a service that allows daily pulls.

I bumped my inquiries from Transunion using CreditKarma and Amex's CreditSecure. I checked both services every day for about a month. It may take shorter or longer depending on how many other soft pulls come up on your report.

CreditKarma is free, but only checks Transunion. Amex's Credit Secure has a fee, but is a good credit monitoring service which I use (besides for myFico for Equifax) to stay on top of my credit. Amex allows daily refreshes of your reports, and CreditKarma can also pull your report daily.

You need a different service to bump Equifax inquiries, as CreditKarma only checks Transunion. If the inquiries on your Equifax shouldn't be there however, they can easily be disputed online...

Don’t get your hopes too high. Even if you managed to bump your inquiries from your report, it doesn’t mean that they won’t show up again. Sometimes they do. That’s referred to as choppage. If your inquiries reappear, you can always try to bump them off again.

Related posts:
CreditKarma.com - Free Transunion Credit Score
Where To Check Your Credit Reports And Scores
How many credit scores does each person have?
Free Experian and Transunion Credit Reports

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