A soft credit check, also referred to as a soft credit search, is a partial check a company performs on your credit file to determine the likelihood of your credit application getting accepted. Unlike a hard credit search, a soft credit search isn’t visible to lenders and will not affect your credit rating.
A hard check occurs when a company performs a full check of your credit file. Once a company has completed a hard check it will be listed on your credit file and visible to future prospective lenders.
Having past applications recorded on your file – especially cancelled or unsuccessful ones, can lower your credit rating and cause you to be refused when you apply for finance in the future. This is because lenders will see that you've been trying to apply for credit across several providers and deem you to be a risky or credit hungry, even though this is not true in most cases.
• Example of a soft credit search – A company carries out a soft search to check your eligibility for a loan
• Example of a hard credit check – When you apply for a mortgage or a credit card the lender will carry out a hard check
Yes! Soft credit searches are just one part of our commitment to providing a fair financial service, with Ethical Lending always at the centre of our business decisions.
Unlike other major car finance providers, we don't undertake a full credit search until we know you have a very good chance of being accepted by one of our lenders. This allows us to examine all the important details we need to see your creditworthiness and compare more than 90 lending options without leaving a footprint on your credit file.
Once we've found you the right car finance package, we'll contact you to confirm if you want to proceed with a full application, including a full credit search.
If you require further assistance, our team of Customer Advisors are here to help. We're open six days a week - you can view our opening hours here - and we're more than happy to answer your questions.