Credit Search

What is a Credit Search?

A Credit Search is a check made by a lender using a Credit Reference Agency to view your Credit Report. A Credit Search is different to an Enquiry, as in every case it relates to the assessment of an application for credit.

The amount of information that the lender is able to see on a Credit Search is dependent on the amount of information that they share. This is in accordance with the Principles of Reciprocity, which say that to receive a defined level of detail, then the lender must itself report the same level of detail about all of its customers every month to a Credit Reference Agency.

Most consumers have around 6-12 Credit Searches on their Credit Reports each year. Contrary to popular folklore, searches alone do not severely impact your credit score – you cannot be penalised for shopping around for credit. That said, a lot of Credit Searches undertaken in a very short period may be an indicator of fraudulent activity.

Credit Searches remain on your credit report for 1-2 years depending on the credit reference agency.


Q: Why do lenders need to carry out a credit search?

A: To look at your repayment history and assess whether it is worth taking the risk of loaning you credit. If you’ve had trouble making payments in the past, a lender might think twice about offering you credit again, but without a credit check they have no way of knowing.

Q: How long does a credit search stay on my file?

A: Typically Callcredit, Equifax and Crediva report searches for 2 years, while Experian reports them for 1 year. Searches carried out by a debt collector will remain on your credit report for 2 years.

What do credit searches look like on my credit report?

A:You can see Enquiry and Application searches on your checkmyfile Credit Report. You will be able to see who carried out the search and when- monitoring your report can be an effective way to spot fraudulent attempts to take out credit.

If you haven’t already, you can try checkmyfile FREE for 30 days, then for just £14.99 a month afterwards, which you can cancel online at any time.

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