Searches

What are Credit Searches?

There are two basic types of Credit Searches that can be carried out on your credit file: Application Searches and an Enquiry Searches. Application searches are seen only by lenders, so that they can make an assessment of how ‘credit active’ you are. Both types of search leave behind a Search Footprint, which is visible to you on your Credit Report.

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 about 12 Application Searches on file in a year is perfectly normal and is expected. Very low levels of searches can tell lenders that you are not very credit active, so they may not be so willing to lend to you.

Other types of search footprint recorded on your credit file by the Credit Reference Agencies include those left for audit purposes; these are not visible to lenders or to consumers.


Q: Do searches harm my credit score?

A: No, your credit score and ability to obtain credit are not affected by people viewing your credit file.

Q: Can I see who has searched me?

A: Yes, a note is left on your credit report detailing the name of the company that has performed an enquiry or application search on your file. If this is done on behalf of another company, the name of the organisation that carried out the search will appear on your file.

Q: How long do credit searches stay on my file?

A: Both types of search should only appear on your file for 12 months from the initial search. There is another type of search, carried out by debt collectors, which will appear on your file for two years.

Jargon Buster

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