What if I don't recognize an inquiry on my credit reports?

Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), the three nationwide credit bureaus must retain a record of who has accessed your credit report. The Equifax guideline is to retain most inquiries for up to two years, although some are maintained for just one year.

A recommended step if you do not recognize an inquiry is to contact the specific company that requested your credit report for an explanation. Lenders and creditors sometimes use third parties to pull credit reports in response to a credit application, so the inquiry company name may not be immediately familiar and may not be the same as the lender. If you see a name that isn’t familiar, but you have recently applied for credit, you can check with the lender to see if a third party was used to pull your credit reports.

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