What is a credit search footprint?When it comes to applying through mortgages brokers, direct payday lenders, or a credit or store card, we are all fairly familiar with terms such as whether or not we have a good or bad credit score, and what a credit check. But when it comes to a credit search footprint? Many of us are not so keenly aware of what exactly this entails or means. In fact, it is actually very closely connected with credit scores and credit checks. Here we provide an overview as to what a credit search footprint actually is, the different types of credit search footprint available, and what this means for you.
What a credit search footprint involvesSimply put, whenever a lender, debt collector or loan provider checks your credit file they leave a so-called ‘footprint’ on your report, which indicates to you, and to others that they have looked at your record, and provides easy confirmation of having done so. The concept is still fairly new, hence there is a lack of awareness as to what a credit search footprint entails. Whenever lenders do a credit check on your account, your personal financial information is provided by one of the three main credit references agencies: Equifax, Experian and Call Credit. The information that lenders or loan providers will be able to see in the report includes:
- Your full name and date of birth
- Your current address and previous addresses you have lived at, obtained through the electoral register
- Any outstanding debt you have
- Any CCJ’s that you have, or if you are bankrupt
- Your current account overdraft
- Any loans, credit card or mortgage accounts that you have currently open, as well as any loan amounts.
- Any accounts you have closed in the past six years will also be available on the credit report
- Joint mortgages or bank accounts that you have open with a spouse or family member
- If you have any missed repayments, and it will also include how many times you have missed them
- Any previous applications you have made and other credit search footprints on your account
Why do a credit check?Lenders or loan providers will carry out a credit check, and thus leave a credit search footprint, in order to determine just how creditworthy you are. This is because they will be able to view the entirety of your personal financial information, whether you have been prompt with repayments or not, and how much money you currently have loaned. This information enables them to determine whether they will accept or decline your application.
How long do credit search footprints last?According to one of the main credit references agencies, Equifax, there are different lengths of time in which a credit search footprint remains visible on your credit file. On average, a search is:
- Roughly a year if you have made a credit application
- Up to two years for searches made by debt collectors
- Up to six years for fully funded credit searches