Search Footprint

What is a Search Footprint?

A Search Footprint is a record is left by a Credit Reference Agency every time your Credit Report is searched, either by yourself or by others. Search footprints include Enquiries, which are usually related to a casual quotation enquiry and Application Searches, usually reserved for full-blown credit application.

A record of an enquiry will be left on your file every time you view your Credit Report, but this does not affect your credit score at all – you should be sure to view your updated Credit Reports on a regular basis without fear of affecting your ability to get credit. Lenders are able to see Enquiry Footprints, and if they are made for Debt Collection reasons, they may decline to offer credit based on the presence of that information alone because it implies you’ve had severe issues making payments in the past.

An application search is recorded when you apply for a credit commitment and the lender searches one or more of the three Credit Reference Agencies to view the information held on you. Application searches are seen by lenders, so that they can make an assessment of how ‘credit active’ you are.

There are lots of myths about the problems caused by having several credit application searches recorded on your credit file. Certainly, many searches within an hour or two can indicate a possible fraud, and dozens in a month can indicate financial desperation, but up to 12 searches on file in a year is perfectly normal and is expected.

The outcome of your applications are never recorded on your Credit Report, so you will never be declined on the basis that you have been rejected by other lenders.

Only Application Searches can have the ability to affect your Credit Score, and only if recorded in excess.


Q: Is a search footprint on my credit file bad?

A: No, it is merely a record that shows someone has searched your credit history. They will remain on your file for 12 months. Having a suspiciously high number of ‘hard’ searches on your credit file could potentially trigger a fraud warning on your file however.

Q: Can a search footprint be a good thing for my credit file?

A: They can be. Having no search footprints whatsoever can be seen as a lack of credit activity on your account, which some lenders might take as a sign of lack of overall history. A couple of searches here and there are considered healthy as part of a regular financial background.

Q: Can I see search footprints on my Credit Report?

A: You can see all searches made by yourself and others on your Credit Report within the last 12 months when you log into your checkmyfile Credit Report. 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.

Jargon Buster

Use the links below and the resulting list of terms on the right to locate the term you are looking for. If you can't locate it, please get in touch.

A
B
C
D
E
F
G
H
I
J
K
L
M
N
O
P
Q
R
S
T
U
V
W
X
Y
Z
keyboard_arrow_left

keyboard_arrow_right

We have loads of great customer reviews