What are Credit Search Footprints?
You are probably familiar with many terms to do with credit, such as your credit score or a credit check. However, are you familiar with the term credit search footprint? This term is not as familiar to many people but it’s very important.
The credit search footprint links to credit checks. This is because every check that someone makes on your credit file leaves a mark. This mark is the credit search footprint.
Credit search footprints in more detail
Every time a lender or debt collector checks your credit file they leave a “footprint”. This is a sign to say that they have made a check and anyone who checks the file can see it.
The concept of a footprint is still relatively new, so many people are unaware of it.
When a lender or debt collector completes a credit check the information that is visible includes:
- Your name and date of birth.
- Your address according to the electoral roll.
- The amount of outstanding debt that you have.
- CCJs that you have against you and details of any bankruptcy proceedings.
- What current open debt you have.
- Any debt accounts that you have closed in the last 6 months.
- Payments you have missed and how many times you have missed them.
- Credit search footprints that are on the file.
- Previous credit applications that you have made.
Lenders take this information into account to help them decide whether you are a good risk. Obviously, the more outstanding debt, and missed payments, you have the less likely you are to be successful when you apply for credit.
The footprint that people leave on your file every time they make a search stays there for a specific length of time.
- 12 months when you make a credit application. This applies whether the application is successful or not.
- 2 years when a debt collection agency makes a check.
- 6 years for when you make a credit application that succeeds. This applies whether you make payments on time or whether you miss them.
Is it a bad thing if you have credit search footprints on your credit file?
You may think that a credit search footprint does not sound like a good thing. However, this is not necessarily the case. It’s actually normal for you to have up to 12 credit search footprints on your credit file in a 12-month period. This is normal credit behaviour. This does not mean that credit search footprints are always a good thing.
Do not forget that anyone who searches your credit file can see these footprints. If a lender checks your credit file and sees a lot of footprints made in a short period, they may be alarmed. There are two reasons why this happens.
- You have made several loan applications over a short period of time. This may mean that lenders believe that you are desperate for money. They may not see you as a good risk.
- You have been subject to identity fraud. This can also be off-putting to lenders.
Bearing these facts in mind, you should be careful about when, and how often, you apply for credit. You should always wait for a decision on one loan before you apply for others. It’s also not a good idea for you to continue applying for loans one after the other. This is the case whether you are successful or not. If you make a lot of applications, lenders can see you as a bad risk.
Being aware of your credit search footprint
It helps to be aware of your credit search footprint. This is because having this information allows you to see how likely it is that you will get credit. You can check your credit search footprint through companies such as Experian. Checking your credit file in this way is always a good idea anyway. This is because it helps you to identify any errors so you can get them put right as soon as possible.
Credit search footprints are an integral part of the credit process. This is why it’s so important for you to be aware of the impact they can have on you and your credit rating. There is nothing wrong with having credit search footprints on your credit file; this is normal. However, having too many credit search footprints over a short time is not good. Lenders are less likely to see you as a good risk when this is the case.
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Cashpanda.co.uk does not perform any credit search or check on our customers at application.
If you are considering a loan please make sure you can afford to repay it back in time. Late repayments can cause you serious money problems. For help please go to moneyadviceservice.org.uk