What is a 'soft search' credit check?
A rejected application for credit or making a number of applications in a short space of time can negatively affect your credit score. But a soft credit search allows you to check if you’re eligible for a credit card without affecting your credit score.
Although a record of any credit card soft search results will appear on your credit file for 12 months, soft searches aren't visible to companies. This means they won’t affect your credit score or any future credit applications.
This type of soft credit check is often used by lenders to give you an initial decision on whether your full application is likely to be successful. If you proceed to the next stage, your lender will then run a full credit search before making a final decision.
Reasons to use the Vanquis 'soft search' checker
There are a number of reasons why it makes sense to use the Vanquis credit card ‘soft search’ checker before applying for a credit card, including:
It will not affect your credit score
When you apply for a credit card, a record of the application will be held on your credit file. A rejected application can damage your credit score, as can making a number of applications in a short space of time. Using a credit card soft check means you can get an indication of whether your application will be accepted before you apply, without affecting your credit score.
You will get an answer in minutes
You’ll only need to enter a few key details when using the Vanquis ‘soft search’ checker, which means we can make a quick decision on whether you’re likely to be accepted for credit. Although this isn’t a guarantee that we’ll lend to you, this type of credit card quick check will give you an idea on whether you should proceed.
You can apply with confidence
If we agree to lend to you at this stage, it’s more likely that your application will be successful if you proceed to the next stage. Acceptance isn’t guaranteed at this point, and we will run a full credit check – which will be noted on your credit file – before making a final decision
Express Check FAQs
Who can use the Vanquis 'soft search' service?
Anyone wishing to apply for a Vanquis credit card can use the ‘soft search’ service. It is a key part of our application process and it’s important that you take on board the recommendations of this initial credit search. Credit is only available to UK residents who are at least 18 years of age and are not legally restricted from obtaining credit e.g. because of bankruptcy.
Think carefully before you apply if you’re told your application is unlikely to be successful, as a rejected application can damage your credit score and lead to further problems getting credit.
How does a 'soft search' work?
‘Soft search’ works by taking a few key details about you and your finances to build up a picture of your current situation and finances.
When you use ‘soft search’ have the following information to hand:
- Full name and date of birth
- Full address, residential status (homeowner/tenant, etc.), and length of time you’ve lived at your current address
- Contact telephone number and email address
- Employment status, monthly income and expenditure, and number of dependents
Once we have this information, we’ll run a soft credit search to give you a quick initial decision.
Will using a 'soft search' impact my credit score?
Using ‘soft search’ will have no impact on your credit score, even if your application is rejected at this stage. This is because we make our initial decision using the information you provide at this part of the application, and not the information held on your credit file.
If you continue to the full application, we’ll then run a full credit check before making a final decision. A record of this search will be visible on your credit file, regardless of whether your final application is accepted or rejected.
Can I use it if I have bad credit?
Yes. In fact, we recommend that you use the soft search credit card check function in these circumstances, because you’re more likely to be rejected if you apply for a credit card with bad credit.
If you have bad credit and your application is rejected, this will damage your credit score even further, which can cause you more difficulty getting credit. But using Vanquis ‘soft search’ checker means you’ll get a quick initial decision that won’t affect your credit score.
How can I improve my chances of being accepted?
There are a several things you can do to increase your chances of being approved for a Vanquis credit card:
- Check that your credit report is up to date and contains no errors
- Only apply for products suited to your circumstances. If you have a poor credit score, this means applying for a bad credit credit card from a suitable lender
- Only apply for one credit card or loan at time
As and when you are accepted for credit, be sure to use your card correctly to show lenders you’re responsible with credit. This could help improve your credit score.