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Is there a Capital One Auto Finance (COAF) credit inquiry on your credit report? A hard inquiry from COAF may appear on your report if you apply for an auto loan or buy a car with funding from Capital One.

Your report may also show a hard inquiry from COAF if you agreed to be a cosigner for someone else’s car loan application. This guide will explain what Capital One Auto Finance is and how a hard inquiry can impact your score. You’ll also learn how to get COAF off your credit report if you didn’t apply for an auto loan with this company.

What is COAF?

COAF is the auto financing arm of the popular financial institution Capital One. It offers loans for new and used vehicles, along with refinancing options. When you apply for a car loan with COAF, the company pulls your credit report to assess your financial history. COAF might also pull your credit if you’re listed as a co-applicant on someone else’s car loan from Capital One.

How long will the COAF credit inquiry stay on your report?

There are essentially two kinds of credit inquiries, hard and soft. A soft credit check doesn’t have an impact on your credit score. Soft credit pulls sometimes occur when you compare quotes for a loan, get pre-approval for an offer, or check your credit score online.

Hard credit checks are a bit more exhaustive and take place once you’ve completed an application for a loan or a credit card. They also occur when you cosign on a loan for someone as you’re essentially applying for the loan as well.

With hard inquiries, lenders can access your full credit report from Equifax, Experian, TransUnion or all three. This type of inquiry stays on your report for two years and may decrease your score by a few points. However, several hard inquiries on your report are a red flag to prospective lenders and result in a more severe drop.

To lower the impact of multiple hard inquiries when you’re shopping around for the best rates on a home or auto loan, try to complete all applications within 14 days.

How to get COAF deleted from your credit report

Is it possible to get a hard inquiry deleted from your credit report? In some cases, yes. Maybe you’ve never submitted an application for a Capital One auto loan, and you never consented to be a co-applicant with someone else, making their entry on your report inaccurate or false.

In either of these cases, you may be the victim of identity fraud or a reporting error. If so, you should be able to get the agency to remove the entry with one of the two strategies below.

Dispute the COAF credit inquiry with Capital One and the bureaus

You shouldn’t have to suffer damage to your credit score for a loan application you didn’t submit. If someone else has applied for a loan using your name and information or there’s been some other reporting error, it’s important to understand your rights under the Fair Credit Reporting Act of 1990.

According to this law, you have 30 days to dispute an inquiry once it appears on your credit report. You just need to mail in a letter disputing the entry to COAF. You might also want to dispute the entry with the credit bureaus in order to get it deleted.

You can contact COAF at:

Capital One Auto Finance
7933 Preston Road
Plano, TX 75024-2302

Telephone number: 800-946-0332

In order to catch inaccuracies on your report quickly and stay on top of changes to your score, you should use an online credit monitoring service such as Credit Karma or Credit Sesame. Also, keep in mind that you can access a free copy of your credit report once a year on annualcreditreport.com.

Work with a credit repair company

A single hard inquiry won't destroy your credit. In fact, the credit bureaus will drop it from your report completely in two years. That being said, if a hard inquiry is only a small part of your credit issues, you may want to consult with a credit repair specialist.

There are a handful of top-tier credit repair companies that can work with you to tackle all of your credit problems, which might include:

  • Bankruptcy
  • Charge offs
  • Debt in collections
  • Foreclosures
  • Identity fraud
  • Judgments
  • Liens

If your credit score needs a major boost, a credit repair company is well worth the cost. Even if your credit issues are less severe than some of the ones mentioned above, a credit repair company relieves the stress of having to contact lenders and the credit bureaus to dispute negative entries on your report.

Update: This article has been updated to reflect current contact information for COAF.

Disclaimer: This story was originally published on November 5, 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/