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Removing Hard Credit Inquiries


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Recently ran my credit report and saw a hard inquiry from American Eagle. I shop there but don't apply for any credit cards so I sent a dispute letter to see what they would say. They responded saying that in 04/29/2014 there was a paperless method submitted for a AEO, Inc Visa Card and unable to modify what has been reported. They additonally cannot provide me with a copy of the application based upon the paperless method used for submission. Is there anything I can do about this?

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I have not submitted a dispute with the CRA in regards to this inquiry. I started with the creditor first, they just sent me this letter yesterday, should that be the next step?


And the credit inquiry is the only entry I can see that is associated with this.


Normally, you should had disputed with the CRA first before disputing with the original creditor (OC).  There are important legal reasons for this:




That said, in the general scheme of things, a hard credit inquiry has a relatively minor impact on your credit score, so ask yourself if this is even worth the hassle.  But if you insist, here is what probably can be done.


Maybe the problem is because of identity theft? 


If that is the case, write a simple dispute letter to the respective CRA saying "I am a victim of identity theft", that you did not submit an application or authorize an credit inquiry, and you want the item deleted.  (This is pursuant to FCRA 611).


Be sure to attach the relevant page from the credit report and circle the item.


Mail the letter with attachment CMRRR to the CRA, with attention to the "Fraud Department".  Wait for the CRA to provide you a written response back.  If the response comes back with the item as "verified", then proceed to the next step of writing the OC.


Mail a similar letter with attachment CMRRR directly to the OC, with attention to its "Fraud Department", requesting an investigation, since "I am a victim of identity theft".  (This is pursuant to FCRA 623).


If the OC still refuses to remove the entry, then you may have to bring in the heavy equipment.


This would mean requesting a FCRA 605B block from the CRA, which would involve the following multiple steps:


Here are the initial steps necessary to deal with identity theft:

  1. Generate a FTC Identity Theft Affidavit with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
  2. File a police report with your local police station, and get a copy of the same police report, along with the police report number.

More info about this and the following steps can be found in this thread:




This is a multi-step process, and it has to be done in the proper order.


Else, you can bypass writing a simple dispute letter, and go straight for the FCRA 605B block.  The choice is up to you.


Warning:  Please keep in mind that filing a police report and signing an affidavit are very serious matters, so consider it very carefully.

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I would also consider putting a freeze on all three of my CR's to prevent them from getting credit if that is true.


This would be the most draconian approach, but yes a security freeze would work.  But there are less severe alternatives, such as placing a "fraud alert" or an "extended fraud alert", so the OP can still apply for credit in the future.

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FYI.  Discovered this thread:




From my own personal experience, the hard credit inquiries (as well as any negative tradelines) due to my identity theft problem were deleted once I successfully contested the issue with the various parties involved.


But your mileage may vary, if you decide to pursue this.

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