It can be a shock to discover an entry you don’t recognize on your credit report, especially if it seems to have affected your score. Lenders perform hard inquiries before approving mortgages, loans or credit cards, and these can lower your credit score. You consent to a hard inquiry when applying for credit, and although one won’t significantly affect your score, several can inflict major damage. Read on to learn about Avantus LLC, how hard credit inquiries work and how you could remove negative entries from your report.
What Is Avantus?
Avantus LLC provides credit reports for mortgage lenders, so if you have an entry from Avantus on your report, it’s probably because you recently applied for a mortgage. However, Avantus also carries out checks for other reasons, which would show on your report. Some of the services it provides include:
- Soft credit checks
- Employment verification
- Two-factor authentication
- Tenant screening
- Social Security number verification
Avantus specializes in providing lenders with merged credit reports, including tri-merge reports, which combine data from TransUnion, Experian and Equifax, giving lenders the comprehensive data they need to decide on your application.
How long does a hard inquiry stay on your credit report?
A hard inquiry can lower your credit score and will stay on your report for two years, but you can apply to have it removed. The older your hard inquiry is, the less impact it has on your score. It’s not only lenders that carry out these inquiries; prospective employers and landlords may also check your credit. Some lenders only check with one of the credit bureaus, while others may use two or all three, affecting all of your scores.
The negative effects of hard inquiries on your credit score can be cumulative. If you plan to apply for more than one loan or mortgage, apply for them within a two-week period, as each application won’t affect your score individually. Check the requirements for each loan, and only apply for those you believe you’re likely to get.
What is a soft inquiry?
A soft inquiry is a less extensive check to ascertain your credit score. These inquiries don’t affect your score and may appear on your credit report after you:
- Check your score with a free credit monitoring service
- Gain pre-approval for a loan or card
- Compare quotes
Learn more: soft vs. hard inquiries
Several reliable paid and free credit monitoring services can alert you to new entries and other changes to your report.
How to remove an Avantus inquiry from your credit report
You can expect a hard inquiry to show on your report if you recently applied for a loan or mortgage. If you didn’t, it could be a reporting error or identity fraud, so you should apply to have it removed to protect your credit score. There are several things you can do to remove a hard inquiry.
Dispute the inquiry
The Fair Credit Reporting Act of 1990, gives you 30 days to dispute a hard inquiry. If you discover an unexpected hard inquiry on your report, you should contact the company named and the credit bureaus immediately. Although you can contact the bureaus electronically, certified mail is preferable, as it creates a paper trail.
You can mail your letter to Avantus at the following address:
70 Jefferson Boulevard
Warwick, RI 02888
Get help from a credit repair company
It can be difficult to deal with hard inquiries without professional help. If you don’t know where to start to improve your score, a credit repair company can be a real lifesaver. It can dispute inaccuracies on your report, such as a fraudulent entry from Avantus, and contact the company and the bureaus to ensure they delete inaccurate entries.
Credit repair companies can also deal with more challenging credit issues, such as:
- Debt collections
- Late payments
Whether you’re reeling from identity theft, struggling with an unexpected financial hurdle or simply overwhelmed with late payments, it is worth considering credit repair services.
Removing Avantus from your report
Although seeing your credit score drop can be disheartening, a hard inquiry from Avantus shouldn’t concern you if the hard inquiry was legitimate. However, if you didn’t submit an application that could have resulted in the inquiry, whether you dispute the entry yourself or work with a highly rated credit repair company, you should get it removed ASAP.
Disclaimer: This story was originally published on November 30, 2020, on BetterCreditBlog.org. To find the most relevant information concerning collections or credit card inquiries, please visit: https://money.com/how-to-remove-collections-from-credit-report/ or https://money.com/get-items-removed-from-credit-report/