Credit checks are a necessary step for all types of credit applications including loans, car finance and home tenancy agreements. But for those who are already concerned about their credit rating, there is an understandable worry that the check itself might do damage to your score.

In this post, we’ll clear things up when it comes to credit checks and how they affect your score in the UK.

What is a credit check?

In short, credit checks are a way of checking your history, behaviour and associations when it comes to credit. They look at:

  • What credit you’ve taken out
  • Whether it’s been paid back
  • When it’s paid back (on time and regularly or late and irregularly)
  • Financial associations – including people with whom you share joint bank accounts or mortgages

Aside from checking your credit score online, credit checks can be broken down into soft and hard credit checks, which refer to the level of detail being assessed.

As the name suggests, soft credit checks take a brief look at your credit report to get an idea of your behaviour. These are typically an initial step in the application process to get a better idea of whether you’ll be successful.

On the other hand, hard credit checks are a comprehensive assessment of your credit history. These will typically be performed later in the process, as a final step to approve your application.

Do they affect your credit score?

Credit checks are one of the many factors that affect your credit score. But it depends on the type of check being done. Soft checks are not visible to other companies, so they won’t affect your credit score going forward. The same is true when checking your credit report yourself.

However, because hard credit checks are only done when companies are considering you for an application, they can have an impact on your score. Hard credit checks will be visible on your report, and too many in a short space of time could reduce your chances of being approved for credit. This is particularly true where your application for credit has been unsuccessful. However, the initial soft credit check should help you avoid this situation.

How we check your credit score

At My Car Credit, we only perform a soft credit check initially, to make sure there’s no impact on your credit score. This gives us a better idea of whether you’ll be successful before proceeding with the application. This in turn enables us to provide poor credit car loans to more people across the UK.

Rates from 6.9% APR. Representative APR 14.9%

Evolution Funding Ltd T/A My Car Credit

My Credit Rating

Excellent

  • You are a home owner
  • You have been on the electoral role for a long period of time
  • You have current credit arrangements and mortgage with no defaults
  • You have no CCJs, credit arrears or missed payments
  • You rarely apply for credit
  • You are employed or self-employed

Good

  • You are on the electoral role
  • You are a home owner or long standing tenant
  • You have a stable employment history
  • You have current credit arrangements with occasional missed payments
  • You have no CCJs

Fair

  • You are or have recently been on the electoral role
  • You may have recently changed address
  • You may have occasional missed payments
  • You may have an old CCJ
  • You may have regularly applied for credit

Poor

  • You may have had frequent changes in address
  • You may not be traceable on the voters roll
  • You may have exceeded credit card limits
  • You may have missed payments on current agreements
  • You may have had a CCJ in the past

Bad

  • You may not be traceable on the voters roll
  • Your credit cards are over their limits
  • You have recent CCJs
  • You may have been refused credit elsewhere
  • You may be in a debt management plan
£

X monthly repayments of
£X

Typical rate

Loan amount

Total payable

X% APR*

£X

£X

*for illustration purposes only

No impact on your credit score

Representative Example

Borrowing £7,500 at a representative APR of 14.9%, annual interest rate (fixed) 14.85%, 47 monthly payments of £204.69 followed by 1 payment of £214.69 (incl. estimated £10 option to purchase fee), a deposit of £0.00, total cost of credit is £2,335.12, total amount payable is £9,835.12.

My Car Credit is a credit broker and not a lender.

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!