Article by Kelly Luff - 26th February 2020

Will Checking My Credit Report Affect My Credit Score?

Does checking your Credit Report lower your Credit Score? This is a question we’re regularly asked, especially as the importance of Credit Reports is becoming more widely understood. The question seems to be based on a simple idea: when someone else checks your Credit Report, it damages your Credit Score, so it must also be true when you check it yourself. Thankfully, this is far from the truth.

If the only thing stopping you from checking your Credit Report is fear that it will affect your creditworthiness, you can relax, because it won’t. Checking your own Credit Report will not lower your Credit Score.

In fact, you can check the UK’s most detailed Credit Report with checkmyfile free for 30 days, then for just £14.99 per month and cancel easily at any time, safe in the knowledge that your Credit Score won’t be affected. Our Multi Agency Credit Report collates your complete information from Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion all into a single easy-to-use format – saving you time and letting you easily compare data and spot discrepancies.

If you need any guidance with your Credit Report, our professionally qualified Credit Analysts can be contacted at any time through your account.

When does my Credit Report being checked affect my Credit Score?

When your Credit Report is accessed, either through you checking it yourself or an organisation checking it as part of an application, a ‘Search’ will be recorded to reflect this. This search will detail the date it was performed, which company performed the search, and the search type.

A lot of confusion surrounds the types of searches and exactly what they mean. To help clear this up, remember that there are three types of search: Audit Searches, Enquiry Searches, and Credit Application Searches.

Audit searches will be recorded when you access your own Credit Report. You may also find audit searches when your existing lenders perform their routine checks on your current financial standing. Audit searches are also known as ‘soft searches’, meaning they won’t lower your Credit Score. They are only visible to you and the Credit Reference Agency that recorded the search; no other organisations will be able to see them.

Enquiry searches are another type of soft search, so also don’t affect your Credit Score. An important difference is that enquiry searches can be seen by other companies checking your Credit Report, but they’re often of no consequence. There are certain, rare exceptions to this – such as a debt collector performing a soft search on you. While this won’t affect your Credit Score, it may be viewed negatively by some prospective lenders.

The final search type is the Credit Application Search. These will be recorded on your Credit Report whenever you apply for credit or a product like a mobile phone contract. Credit Application Searches are considered ‘hard searches’, meaning they can affect your creditworthiness – but usually only if there are a large number in a very short space of time.

To sum up, an abundance of Credit Application Searches in a short period of time can damage your creditworthiness but checking your own Credit Report will not. You can check your own Credit Report as thoroughly and as frequently as you need without penalty.

Why do my own credit searches appear on my report?

Your own searches aren’t seen by lenders, so you may wonder why they appear on your Credit Report at all.

They’re on your Credit Report mainly so you have a record of every time your personal information has been accessed.

If you notice that your Credit Report has been accessed without your knowledge, it could potentially show that someone viewed your information fraudulently. You will also be able to see which Credit Reference Agency was used to access your Credit Report.

Your Credit Report can be a powerful defence against would-be fraudsters, and checking to see if any audit searches or new forms of credit have appeared in your name without your knowledge is an effective way to spot any issues before they can cause serious problems.

When you sign up with a comparison service you will often see searches from multiple insurance companies and brokers that provided a quote – this is purely because they will have wanted to check your publicly held information, such as Electoral Roll listing to verify your identity. However, in some rare circumstances, an enquiry search may be carried out by comparison sites, but this won’t be anything to worry about.

You can ask the company performing these checks to cease making them, as it is often found that they are repeated at least annually by lenders looking to send you offers to tempt you away from your current supplier. This can, however, be time consuming and as they don’t make any difference to your Credit Score, it is optional.

So, rather than ignoring your Credit Report for fear of damaging your rating, it’s actually a vital thing to do regularly – and checkmyfile is the only place to see everything held about you in the same place.

Updated 26/02/2020 by Sam Griffin

The UK's First Provider Of Online Credit Reports

Launched 25 Years, 35 Million Credit Scores & 8 Million Credit Reports Ago

The UK's First Provider Of Online Credit Reports

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