DEFINITION of 'Account Inquiry'

An account inquiry is a review of any type of account, whether it be a depository account or credit account. The inquiry can refer to past records, payments or other specific transactions, or any other entries relating to the account.

BREAKING DOWN 'Account Inquiry'

Most financial institutions have a formal department that deals with account inquiries. Sometimes the term is used when there is a request to or from a credit agency about a particular consumer.

An account inquiry could be done per the request of a bank, lender, or other financial institution that requires a copy of an account history when an individual, business, or other entity applies for credit or a loan. Credit agencies may issue account inquiries to credit card companies or other lenders as part of assessing whether they are current on the bills they are responsible for.

Why Account Inquiries are Performed

Account inquiry may typically be initiated when an individual seeks to take on new debt, particularly in conjunction with making a substantial purchase such as the acquisition of real estate. Before the individual us approved for the new debt, the lender wants to see the track record of the applicant when it comes to paying their debts in an orderly fashion. This is a step in assessing the overall creditworthiness of a potential borrower, as well as structuring the rates they may be offered for the loan they are seeking.

An account holder may initiate an account inquiry themselves, particularly if questionable activity is suspected. For instance, if there are debits that the account holder does not recall authorizing, an inquiry can provide answers to where the charges originate from. This could be a step in identifying security breaches or instances of fraud by bringing to attention to transactions that are not familiar. The account holder could request that bank or creditor launch an investigation into such transactions.

Account inquiries might also be made to ensure that payments that are owed have cleared and were delivered on time.

Excessive account inquiries by third parties, particularly for credit cards, may have an adverse effect on the credit rating of an individual. If an individual applies for multiple credit cards in a short period of time, each application will usually trigger an account inquiry into their payment history.

When those inquiries are reported to credit agencies, it may be regarded as a form of high risk and a cause to lower the consumer’s credit score.

  1. Credit Inquiry

    A transaction whereby a bank or other credit-issuing institution ...
  2. Hard Inquiry

    A type of credit report check that may lower an individual's ...
  3. Appreciative Inquiry

    Definition of appreciative inquiry
  4. Account Activity

    Account activity generically applies to whenever a movement of ...
  5. Accounting

    The systematic and comprehensive recording of financial transactions ...
  6. Account History

    An account history is a record that keeps track of all activity ...
Related Articles
  1. Tech

    Using Appreciative Inquiry To Solve Management Problems

    In its purest form, appreciative inquiry is a powerful tool for shifting the focus of an organization to something much greater than its bottom line - although the eventual outcome will often ...
  2. Personal Finance

    How to Read Your Consumer Credit Report

    Learning how to read your consumer credit report is vital, as it includes important information about your credit history.
  3. Personal Finance

    The 5 Biggest Factors That Affect Your Credit

    Are you in the process of getting a loans? Learn how credit companies use these factors credit companies rely on to determine whether to lend to you and at what rate.
  4. Personal Finance

    5 Surprising Things That Will Hurt Your Credit Score

    Here are five ways that you can damage your credit score without even knowing it.
  5. Personal Finance

    Common Things That Improve And Lower Credit Scores

    Credit scores are used by lenders to estimate credit risk. Find out how you can better earn the trust of lenders and reap the benefits.
  6. Personal Finance

    How Many Mortgage Lenders Should You Apply to?

    Applying to multiple mortgage lenders can get you a better deal, but it comes with a few drawbacks.
  7. Investing

    A Guide to Bank Accounts

    Find out which type of bank account suits your specific needs.
  8. Retirement

    Consolidating Your Retirement Money

    By midlife, you're likely to have accumulated a string of IRAs, 401(k)s and the like. This tutorial helps you organize them around your retirement goals.
  9. Investing

    The Best Investment Accounts for Young Investors

    What are the best investment accounts for young investors? A few types to consider.
  1. Do free credit reports affect your credit score?

    Find out whether your credit score is affected when you are using one of the services that let you check your credit rating ... Read Answer >>
  2. Does every inquiry affect a credit score?

    Check a credit report to prevent an overabundance of hard inquiries and to obtain an overall picture of your credit score's ... Read Answer >>
  3. Does shopping for the best interest rate affect my credit score?

    Learn about hard and soft credit inquires and how shopping for credit may negatively affect credit scores. Explore strategies ... Read Answer >>
Trading Center