It's natural that customers shopping around for car finance can be concerned that an initial credit search will negatively influence their credit score. Initial credit searches usually result in a mark on your credit score - especially when they are abandoned. Very often, customers like to check for car finance before they make a decision or before they've even found a car.
At My Car Credit, we help customers check whether they’re eligible for car finance before they formally apply. This is a great way of taking the worry out of assessing your options. We do this by carrying out a ‘soft search’ credit check at the very start of your application for car finance deals.
What is a car finance soft search?
A soft search is a type of credit check which allows us to see your financial history (i.e. how you’ve managed your loans and finances) without having this information exposed to lenders.
Here’s how it works. Start by using our car finance calculator to get an idea of your monthly payments and finance rate, based on your credit profile, loan amount and preferred contract length. Next, we ask you to complete a short online application form. This car finance checker should take no longer than three minutes to complete. We’ll require a few personal details such as name, address, date of birth, contact details, and employment details. You will then receive an instant online decision on screen, with confirmation by email and text.
A tailored approach to car finance
We understand that no two customers are the same. In addition, there are many different factors that can affect the outcome of your application. Our commitment is to find you the best finance solution possible. To do this, we adhere to lending regulations. This involves placing all our prospective customers into one of two categories: prime and subprime.
- Prime customers (those with a good credit status) will receive an actual annual percentage rate (APR) – this interest rate is a transparent one, i.e. in the majority of cases this will be the rate a customer will pay.
- Subprime customers (those with an impaired credit history) will receive confirmation of their application. The My Car Credit team will work hard with our panel of 30+ lenders to get the best deal for your circumstances.
Why does my credit rating matter for car finance?
Your credit rating is a barometer of how well you’ve used credit in the past and currently. It gives prospective lenders an idea of how likely you are to keep up with monthly repayments. For example, applicants with bad credit or ‘poor’ credit are typically higher risk when it comes to that monthly payment.
To account for this risk, many lenders will increase the interest rate for hire purchase or PCP when applicants have poor credit. That increases the total cost of your car finance loan.
In some cases, a low credit score can even mean you’re not eligible for car finance. However, we use a large panel of lenders with a commitment to find you a car finance deal based on your monthly budget. Even if you think you’re not eligible for car finance, it’s worth using a car finance checker with a broker like My Car Credit.
Soft credit checks are a car finance eligibility checker
A soft credit check is convenient and provides all the key information needed to get the wheels in motion. However, the key benefit of a soft check is that it is not visible to lenders on your credit report. This means that it won’t affect your credit score or your future ability to obtain finance. This is true even in the event that you are declined for finance with us.
If you were to ask for a copy of your credit report, only you will be able to see the soft search on there. Within reason, you can have as many soft searches as you like without affecting your credit score. Essentially, a soft search checks for the same type of data that a ‘hard’ credit search would. The difference is, there is no risk of putting a mark on your credit file.
Because of this, we can use a soft search as a car finance eligibility checker. It gives us a glimpse into your financial situation, including your credit score, employment status, address history and whether you’re on the electoral roll. Using that quick eligibility checker, we will make a decision about your car finance agreement and whether you are eligible for car finance.
Important! Whilst the initial soft search will not leave a mark on your credit file, progressing to a full application may require some lenders to perform a hard search. This allows them to complete their full due diligence of your financial status. A hard search will show on your credit file and can be seen by other potential lenders.
What does all this mean for you?
The approach at My Car Credit means you have the freedom to shop around for car finance before making a decision. It also ensures that you aren’t penalised if you are refused car finance..
There is also no obligation or fee attached to the soft search application process with us. If you’re not sure that the quoted rate is right for your circumstances, you are free to take the information away with you. However, if you are happy to proceed with the rate you’ve been quoted, simply complete your application with us – it’s as easy as that.
Put simply: A soft search is a fantastic way of starting your car finance application without the worry of affecting your credit score. Soft search provides a very good indication of where you stand in terms of being approved for credit. It’s worth noting, it is not a replacement for checking your credit history and improving your credit score before making an application.
Use our car finance checker today
My Car Credit can help you get a new car even when other lenders have failed. That’s because we consider more than just your credit score for eligiblity. With a panel of lenders to borrow from, we can assess your loan based on your monthly budget to dig deeper into eligibility – all in a short space of time.
Sound good? It all starts with our car finance calculator. Enter your loan details today to see whether you’re eligible with our panel of lenders.
Representative APR 10.9%
Evolution Funding Ltd T/A My Car Credit
Require more help?
Got a question you can’t find the answer to, or need some advice and guidance around taking out car finance? Our Car Credit Specialists are friendly, experienced, and here to help so get in touch today!