How Credit Report Mistakes Are Made
When a credit report contains errors, it is often because the report is incomplete, or contains information about someone else. This typically happens because:
- The person applied for credit under different names (Robert Jones, Bob Jones, etc.).
- Someone made a clerical error in reading or entering name or address information from a hand-written application.
- The person gave an inaccurate Social Security number, or the number was misread by the lender.
- Loan or credit card payments were inadvertently applied to the wrong account.
Want to dispute mistakes on your credit report? We can help you write a free letter in minutes.
What is a credit inquiry?
A credit inquiry is an item on a credit report that shows a business with a “permissible purpose” (as defined under the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act) has previously requested a copy of the report.
Not all credit inquiries count toward your FICO® score.
When you check your credit report, you may notice that a number of credit inquiries have been made, sometimes from businesses that you don’t know. But the only inquiries that count toward your FICO score are the ones that result from your applications for new credit.
- Inquiries that count toward your FICO score.
There is only one type of credit inquiry that counts toward your FICO
score. When you apply for a mortgage, auto loan or other credit, you
authorize the lender to request a copy of your credit report. These types
of inquiries, prompted by your own actions, appear on your credit report
and are included in your FICO score.
- Inquiries that don’t count toward your FICO score.
Your own credit report requests, credit checks made by businesses to offer
you goods or services, or inquiries made by businesses with whom you
already have a credit account do not count toward your FICO score. Credit
checks by prospective employers also do not count. These types of
inquiries may appear on your credit report, but they are not included in
your FICO score.
Your FICO score is not affected when you check your credit.
Checking your credit reports regularly to be sure they are accurate and error-free is a good idea. In fact, maintaining accurate credit reports is a part of good credit management, which can help to improve your FICO scores over time.
You can order more than one of your credit reports with FICO scores at myFICO.com. Checking your score at myFICO does not count as an inquiry and will not hurt your FICO score.