Did you notice a new entry on your credit report from BBY/CBNA? While the letters above may seem unfamiliar, they represent Best Buy (BBY) and CitiBank (CBNA), so when you apply for a retail credit card from BBY, it can lead to a hard credit check and lower your score.
Below, we’ll discuss more about Citi’s BBY Visa card, how hard inquiries work and how you can get a fraudulent entry deleted from your report.
BBY/CBNA on your credit report
Some shoppers are surprised to see that their score has lowered when they applied for a store credit card. While applying for a card only takes a matter of seconds, it can result in a hard credit check, which goes on your report and impacts your score. That’s the case when you apply for one of BBY’s cards, which are issued by CBNA.
BBY offers two credit cards: my Best Buy credit card and my Best Buy Visa® card.
The first card offers rewards points when you shop in-store, along with financing options on BBY purchases. The Visa® option provides the benefits above, plus the ability to shop everywhere that accepts Visa®, with tiered cashback rewards.
How long will a BBY/CBNA hard inquiry stay on your credit report?
A hard inquiry stays on your report for two years and has less of an effect on your score as time goes by. It happens whenever you apply for funding from a bank, retailer or lender and perhaps when you apply for a new lease or a job.
These credit pulls allow lenders, landlords and employers to take an in-depth look at your credit usage, granting them access to your full credit report.
When you apply for a card, the creditor could request your Equifax, Experian or TransUnion report, or a combination of the three, which means the application could impact each of your scores and reports with these agencies. The more applications you submit, the more severely they can influence your score.
If you want to limit the impact of a hard inquiry as much as possible, do your homework before applying for a loan or credit card to see how likely you are to get approved based on your score and other criteria.
It’s important to distinguish between a hard and soft credit inquiry. While hard inquiries affect your credit, soft pulls don’t really have any impact. A soft inquiry takes place when you get preapproved for an offer or when you check your credit score.
How to get BBY/CBNA removed from your credit report
If you applied for a BBY credit card, you don’t have to sweat the BBY/CBNA inquiry on your report. However, if you didn’t apply for a card or submit to being an authorized user on someone’s account, you could be the victim of identity theft or a reporting error.
In both of those instances, you can get a hard inquiry removed from your credit report. Here are two ways to handle the situation:
Dispute the hard inquiry with CBNA and the credit bureaus
If there’s an inaccurate entry on your credit report, it’s important to get to the bottom of it, quickly. The Fair Credit Reporting Act gives you 30 days to dispute hard inquiries that you suspect are illegitimate.
You can do this by reaching out to the company — in this case, CBNA — to inquire about the credit check and make sure that no one has opened accounts using your info. You should also file a dispute with the credit bureaus that feature the inquiry. There are multiple options for filing a claim:
- Mail in a letter.
- Make a call.
- Report the issue online.
Any of these methods can work, but it’s generally smartest to communicate in writing, by certified mail, which guarantees that your interactions with the bureau and lenders are well-documented.
With a month to dispute inaccuracies, you need to stay on top of your score at all times.
While you can only get a full copy of your credit report once a year at annualcreditreport.com without paying a fee, you can sign up for a free credit monitoring app like Credit Karma. It will keep you in the loop, notifying you of changes to your score and additions to your report. You’ll even get pointers for improving your credit, along with tailored offers based on your credit profile.
Seek professional help
Confronting lenders and credit bureau representatives about suspected fraud and reporting errors can be daunting.
If you’d like to get a hard inquiry removed from your report but don’t want to do it yourself, a credit repair company could be a great option. It will take a thorough look at your credit report, disputing any inaccuracies and creating a plan to boost your score.
These industry experts can help you with more trying credit problems, too, such as:
- Debt in collections
- Payment history
With issues like the ones listed above, it can be hard to know where to start in your credit repair efforts.
Working with one of the best credit repair companies, you don’t have to, as it will provide you with dedicated customer service and winning results.
Getting BBY/CBNA off your credit report
If you didn’t apply for a BBY card, you should be able to get it removed from your report, whether you work with a credit repair company or tackle the issue yourself. If you did — either at your local BBY or online — you need not worry about the subsequent inquiry; it will disappear from your report in two years and will have a less significant impact on your score in a few months. In most cases, there are more significant factors affecting your credit report.
Channel your efforts into making timely payments and keeping your credit usage low if you receive an approved BBY credit card application. When you use the card responsibly, the positive impact on your score could far outweigh the points you lost by applying.
Disclaimer: This story was originally published on December 9, 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/