You'll have to decide how much pain it will give you to go through a long process at getting the inquiries recoded, and compare that with the solution of leaving them alone and allowing them to become 12 months old -- as you may realize, once they hit that age they will have zero impact on your score (true for all FICO models).
If you decide to go the dispute/recoding route, I'd work further with the banks that claim they have already recoded the inquiries. What you want from them is some written documentation of that fact: a hard copy letter stating that they recoded inquiry X (specify date and creditor) from hard to soft and did this on date Y. It would be fabulous if you could also get the name of a supervisor at the bank as well. Then you'd put together a package of materials in your written dispute to the CRA. The first page would be a cover letter explaining the issue and the action the bank took (recoding) -- and that you are asking the CRA to reflect that action in its database. (Include the name of the supervisor at the bank that the CRA can direct its question to.) The second page would be the supporting documentation.
You would need to mail that to the CRA via a method that forces the CRA to sign for it. You'll then need to track everything and give them a few months to resolve it.
That is tiring to me just thinking about it. But maybe it will give you pleasure to do it, in which by all means go for it.
PS. I would certainly wait for another month before taking further action, just in case the CRA is working on the recoding now. Use free tools to track your reports and maybe in a few weeks you'll see the offending inquiry go away.
Remember that you could do all this work (and be successful at getting it recoded) and it still might not change your score at all.
PPS. The reason I suggest the longer process above that involves getting supporting paper documentation is that, if you don't, the most likely result will be that the CRA will reach out to the bank and say:
Customer disputes this inquiry. Is it real?
The bank will then say, yep that inquiry did happen on that date.
The CRA will then say that they have investigated and the inquiry will stay on your reports.
If your inquiry is for any consumer-initiated purpose, such as a business transaction or request for new or increased credit, the creditor or business has permissible purpose under FCRA 604 to obtain your credit report.
With the sole exception of so-called promotional inquiries (FCRA 604(c)) made by a creditor without any request from the consumer, for which they only obtain a listing of consumer names and addresses, and not their credit report, the FCRA does not regulate the coding of inquiries as soft or hard. If you initiate any request for credit, the creditor has the legal ability to code their inquiry as hard.
A formal dispute of the accuracy of their coding of a consumer initiated request for credit thus lacks any basis under the FCRA for contesting its accuracy.
You should pursue by informal requests to recode as soft, such as by contacting their exec office and getting their senior management involved through their authority to grant good-will discretion.
Disputing with a CRA can be handled by their verification simply that the inquiry was for the permissible purpose of a consumer initiated request for credit. They rarely succeed.
There are no firm regulations, or even CRA published internal guidelines, on the process for subjective coding of an inquiry as either hard or soft. Thus, there is no clear answer as to the precise process used to determine coding as soft, or whether a CRA has substantive input.
It is unclear due to lack of any published criteria, for example, as to how an inquiry that is otherwise subject to coding as hard can be subjectively coded as soft. Does the CRA simply permit any creditor to avoid posting in their credit reports by simply stating they wish to do so, and if so, is there some special code that says, to the effect, "Inquiry seeking new credit, but creditor wishes to avoid inclusion in a consumer's credit report"? That would not seem to be in the CRA interest to permit such subjective avoiding or showing to others, but apparently is permitted.
The hard vs soft coding procedure is kinda a dark mystery....
So dcu tells me one of my inquiries that's reported hard is soft, and home Depot sent me a letter saying they fixed a double hard pull same day. ( For instant cli wich I made sure to verify was a soft pull). Got a letter from executive office of Citi bank 2 months ago saying it was changed to soft because they went back and listened to the conversation...
(And would show on next statement)
So both banks clamed they coded soft inquiries but Equifax shows hard.
First of all don't trust dcu on 45 day window. I got 3 hard pulls the month I opened my account. Also I had an inquiry from August 27th so on October 11th the 45th day ( verified before I applied for a personal loan out of curiosity if I would get it) showed as hard pull the representative told me the pull was done after business hours so would count as 46th day!!! Even though they are 45 days apart on credit report.
I know if u apply for credit expect a hard pull, but I was trying to take advantage of the few perks dcu had for me.
Anyways The banks said that I have to go through Equifax!!! Since they coded it as soft. I have 13 inquiries with Equifax and 10 are auto rate shopping done in June. So 4 are counting against my score. I am never going to do another hard pull with dCU. Only pre approvals.
But my chances should be pretty good since banks are telling me they agree..
Or at least I hope
Just another Equifax issue for me.
I expect my scores to rise over 730 accros the board, going from 15 to 8 utilization total, and one card going from 60% to under 28.9. I'm sure I'm crossing at least two thresholds. When dcu reports in a few days. (getting reports ready for my next app) I guess that will be when Equifax finishes up this dispute.
I tried a number of times, until I came to the conclusion that it's a no-win game.