What is an...

Application Search

An Application Search (hard search) is carried out on your Credit Report during an application for credit. These searches are different to enquiry and audit searches (soft searches) which often take place when getting quotes instead of formally applying.

How do I see my Application Searches?

Any Application Searches will be recorded in the ‘Searches’ section of your Credit Report, detailing the lender that performed the search, the date it took place, and the searched name and address.

You can view your Application Searches by checking your Credit Report with checkmyfile. Your Multi Agency Credit Report is the most detailed in the UK, gathering your complete information from three Credit Reference Agencies – Equifax, Experian and TransUnion – so you know you’ve seen everything you need.

Try checkmyfile free for 30 days, then just £14.99 per month. Cancellation is quick and easy online at any time.

Do Application Searches damage my Credit Report?

Each time an Application Search is performed on your Credit Report, it will remain visible to both you and prospective lenders for 12 to 24 months (depending on the Credit Reference Agency) from the date of entry.

Application Searches are not inherently negative markers, so they do not automatically damage your Credit Score or your chances of being accepted for credit; however, care is still needed.

These hard searches can end up harming your creditworthiness if there are an abundance of applications in a short period of time. This is because lenders can see a flurry of applications as a sign of desperation – something lenders try to avoid as much as possible. An unusually high number of applications may also trigger a fraud warning.

Most people accumulate around a dozen Application Searches a year on their Credit Report. Having no trace of any searches on your Credit Report can give rise to suspicion that a person may not be experienced in handling credit – known as being ‘credit inactive’ – and their absence can have an adverse impact on your ability to get credit in some circumstances.

What do lenders see when they perform an Application Search on me?

An Application Search will check everything held on your Credit Report. This means your credit account repayment history will be fully visible, as well as your address history, Financial Associations, and public information, which includes Court Records such as County Court Judgments and insolvencies.

Who can carry out hard searches?

Most commonly a hard search will appear on your Credit Report as a result of applying for a loan, credit card, or other form of borrowing, but they may also happen when you take out a mobile phone contract or start using a new utility provider. In rare instances using comparison sites can lead to searches appearing on your report.

Though it’s often included in the terms and conditions of an agreement, you will need to give your permission before a lender carries out a hard search of your Credit Report.

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