What is a...

Credit Search

A Credit Search is a check made by an organisation using a Credit Reference Agency to examine your financial status, help determine your creditworthiness, and verify your identity. There are three main types of Credit Search: enquiry and audit searches, which are considered ‘soft searches’, and credit application searches, which are considered ‘hard searches’.

How do I see Credit Searches performed on me?

Any Credit Searches performed on you will be recorded on your Credit Report with the relevant Credit Reference Agency. As there are four Credit Reference Agencies – Equifax, Experian, TransUnion, and Crediva – search records can exist in multiple places.

checkmyfile makes this process quick and easy by gathering your complete information from all Credit Reference Agencies onto the same, easy-to-use platform, ensuring you see everything you need hassle-free. Any Credit Searches will be recorded in the ‘Searches’ section, including the company that performed the search, the date it took place, and your searched name and address.

You can view your Multi Agency Credit Report free for 30 days, then just £14.99 per month. Cancellation is quick and easy online at any time and our expert team is on hand should you have any questions about your Multi Agency Credit Report.

Monitoring your Credit Search history is useful to see who has been accessing your information, especially as a form of protection against identity theft. Spotting an unrecognised Credit Search is often the first sign of a fraudulent attempt to open credit in your name. In this case, your Credit Report will give you all the information you need to contact the relevant lender to investigate further.

What information can lenders see when they Credit Search me?

In general, credit application searches (hard searches) will show lenders your complete Credit Report. This includes your credit account repayment history, address history, Financial Associations, and public court records, among more.

Enquiry and audit searches (soft searches) often don’t check the same level of detail as hard searches, instead showing only public information. Your public information usually consists of County Court Judgment, insolvency, and Electoral Roll records.

The amount of information that the lender can see on a Credit Search generally depends on the amount of information that they share with the Credit Reference Agencies. This is in accordance with the Principles of Reciprocity, which say that to receive a certain 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.

Put simply, for a lender to view your complete Credit Report, they must first share their customers’ account information with the relevant CRAs.

How many Credit Searches should I have on my Credit Report?

Most consumers have around six to twelve credit application searches on their Credit Report each year.

Hard searches are not inherently negative markers on your Credit Report, so they won’t automatically damage your credit rating, but having too many in a short period of time can make it more difficult to be accepted for credit. This is simply because an abundance of applications can be seen as a sign of desperation, something lenders try to avoid in their customers.

The number of recorded enquiry and audit searches is often much higher than the number of credit application searches, but these soft searches have absolutely no impact on creditworthiness (aside from rare exceptions from debt collectors, which lenders may see as indicators of risk).

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