What is a...

Search Footprint

A Search Footprint is a record left by a Credit Reference Agency whenever your Credit Report is searched, either by yourself or by others.

How do I see my Credit Report Search Footprints?

Every time your Credit Report is accessed, a corresponding entry will be recorded in its ‘Searches’ section, letting you monitor who views your information and why. You will be able to see who searched you, the date of search, and your searched name and address.

As there are three main Credit Reference Agencies (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion), you have three separate Credit Reports to check. A search with one agency will not automatically appear on your Credit Reports at the other three, so the information held by each agency will likely be different.

checkmyfile makes the process of checking all four Credit Reports quick and easy. By collating your information from Equifax, Experian and TransUnion, onto a single platform, you can save time and gain peace of mind by having everything you need in one place.

Your Multi Agency Credit Report is the most comprehensive in the UK, and it’s free for 30 days, then just £14.99 per month. Cancel online at any time.

Why would someone search my Credit Report?

There are three main types of Search Footprints: enquiry, audit, and credit application searches.

Enquiry and audit searches are soft searches, meaning they tend to have no impact on your Credit Rating. These are usually performed by lenders, utility suppliers, or insurance providers when offering you a quote (when a full credit check isn’t needed). Similarly, employers and landlords often run these soft searches of your Credit Report when assessing your application.

The level of information available to anyone performing a soft search on you will be limited to your public information. This includes your Court Records (such as CCJs or insolvencies), your Electoral Roll listings, previous addresses, and Financial Associations.

The main distinction between enquiry and audit Search Footprints is that enquiries may be seen by others when they check your Credit Report, while audits will be invisible to anyone but yourself and the Credit Reference Agency.

Credit Application Searches are the typically ‘credit checks’ that come with most credit applications, whether for a credit card, mobile phone, or mortgage (to name a few).

Lenders will be able to see your full Credit Report when running these hard searches, meaning they’ll be able to see your complete credit history, as well as the public information that soft searches show.

Unlike soft searches, hard searches can impact your Credit Rating negatively, although this is usually only if you have a lot in a short period of time, as this demonstrates desperation for credit that most lenders tend to avoid in their customers.

How do I remove Search Footprints from my Credit Report?

Searches will be removed from your Equifax and TransUnion reports after two years from when the access occurred. For Experian, this time is one year.

As Search Footprints are factual records of when your Credit Report was accessed, it usually isn’t possible to remove them any sooner.

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