Fraudulent credit inquiries are the only inquiry types that credit-reporting companies remove, Experian says. Inquires have a small effect on a credit report and are not generally the reason an institution denies credit.
To dispute a fraudulent or unauthorized credit report inquiry, first make sure the inquiry wasn't a prescreening, CreditCards.com says. The inquiry may have been part of a lender's promotional offer, such as a prescreened credit card. Lenders making such promotional offers can view your credit report, but these inquiries should be clearly marked as promotional on your credit report.
If you are unsure the inquiry was due to a promotional offer, ask for more information from the company that made the inquiry, explains CreditCards.com. The creditor may or may not provide the information, but contacting it at least provides a record of your attempt to find out more information, in the event the inquiry is fraudulent.
If you are still unable to determine the inquiry's legitimacy, dispute it with the credit-reporting company, CreditCards.com advises. The credit bureau must follow up with the reporting company, and if the reporting company fails to answer or provide proof the inquiry was legitimate, the bureau removes the mark from your credit report.