Q: I am trying to get pre-approved for a home loan, so I have been tracking credit reports and scores daily. There are 3 hard inquiries that would boost my score some 30 points, once removed.
They were supposed to be removed as of 02/01/2010. The inquiries were pulled on january 9, 2008. Since these are only supposed to be on my credit for 2 years, what can I do so that the bureaus update my reports and remove these inquiries?
A: You are correct that inquiries are only supposed to last for two years and been seen for those two years on your credit report.
However, in terms of your FICO credit scores, it’s the hard inquiries that occurred within the past 12 months that will lower your score. So I’m not convinced that removing those 3 hard inquiries will get you that 30 point rise in your score you anticipate.
It’s possible. But just realize that a whole host of factors go into the overall calculation for your credit scores; inquiries are just one part of the picture.
Having said this, I believe you can get those inquiries more quickly removed in order to make sure you qualify for the best possible mortgage loan rates and terms. Get the information changed by doing one of two things: disputing the information with the credit bureaus or using “rapid re-scoring.” Read on for more details about both options.
Using Online Dispute Services at the Credit Bureaus
To eliminate those old inquires, you can use the online dispute services offered by the credit bureaus. Just go to their websites and dispute the inquiries online at Equifax, Experian and TransUnion on the grounds that this is old, outdated information.
By law, outdated information is not supposed to appear in your credit files. You can dispute mistakes with the credit bureaus by mail or telephone, but you’ll get the fastest results if you initiate a dispute online. Here are the websites and phone numbers you should use for the credit bureaus when you contact them to dispute errors:
http://www.investigate.equifax.com or 888-800-8859
http://www.Experian.com/disputes or 866-200-6020
http://www.Transunion.com/investigate or 800-916-8800
Don’t pay for any credit reports at the bureaus. Just use the links I just provided and get a free copy of your report, if necessary, on the grounds that your account contains inaccurate/outdated info. I’ve had outdated and inaccurate information to my credit reports fixed very, very quickly – in just a day or two.
Use Rapid Re-Scoring
Another option: have your lender or mortgage broker do something called “credit re-scoring” or “rapid re-scoring.” Credit re-scoring allows bankers, mortgage brokers, and other lenders to submit proof of a mistake in your credit file directly to the credit agencies.
The proof has to be something official, such as a letter from the IRS showing that a tax lien has been paid or a court document that indicates a previous bankruptcy was discharged on a certain date. With satisfactory proof and a request from a mortgage professional, the credit agencies give your file priority status, and quickly update your credit information electronically.
It usually happens in two or three days. This way, an error in your credit file doesn’t cost you more money or jeopardize your chance of getting a mortgage. In your case, I’m not certain what documentation can be supplied to the credit bureaus. A simple letter from your lender may suffice as the date of the inquiries themselves will be self-evident to the bureaus.
Get Your Lender Involved
One limit to this process, however, is that you can’t initiate a request for credit re-scoring on your own. Only lenders and other mortgage professionals can do so.
The good news is that some companies, such as Novi, Michigan-based Credit Technologies (http://www.credittechnologies.com), can help you connect with a lender that can request credit re-scoring on your behalf. Credit Technologies provides this information free of charge to consumers. They’ll even email it to you, so you can get a list of lenders quickly.
Alternatively, if you already have a lender, but they don’t know about credit re-scoring, have the lender contact Credit Technologies directly at 800-445-4922 in order to do credit re-scoring. Credit Technologies doesn’t guarantee that your score will increase as a result of credit-rescoring, but the company does report that the typical client experiences a 30-point jump in his or her FICO score.
If you can get your lender involved, your credit report will be updated much faster than you could have done on your own. Fixing erroneous information that is lowering your FICO score could mean the difference between your getting a so-so deal on your mortgage, or getting a home loan with a great rate and attractive terms. Good luck!
Lynnette Khalfani-Cox, The Money Coach®, is a personal finance expert, speaker, and author of 15 money-management books, including the New York Times bestseller Zero Debt: The Ultimate Guide to Financial Freedom.
Lynnette has been seen on more than 1,000 TV segments nationwide, including television appearances on Oprah, Dr. Phil, The Dr. Oz Show, The Steve Harvey Show, Good Morning America, The TODAY Show and many more.
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