What is a Soft Credit Check?
The reality is that it could damage your credit score if you have an application for credit rejected, or if you make lots of applications in a short space of time. The good news is that a ‘soft’ credit search lets you check if you’re eligible for a credit card without affecting your credit score.
The results of any credit card soft search will appear on your credit file for 12 months, but - and here’s the important bit - soft searches aren't visible to companies. This is why soft searches won’t damage your credit score or any future applications for credit.
Lenders often use these soft credit checks to give you an initial decision about whether your full application for a credit card is likely to be successful. If you go on to the next stage, then your lender will run a full credit search (sometimes known as a ‘hard’ search) before they make a final decision.
Reasons to use our Vanquis Check Eligibility form for a ‘soft credit check’
There are some really good reasons why it makes sense to use the Vanquis credit card ‘soft search’ eligibility form before you apply for a credit card:
It won’t affect your credit score
- Using a credit card soft check gives you a chance to get an indication of whether your application will be accepted
- You can check without affecting your credit score
- This avoids having a lot of rejected applications on your credit file
You’ll get an answer in minutes
- Our ‘soft search’ eligibility checker is incredibly quick and easy to use
- You’ll only need to enter a few key details to use it
- You’ll get a quick decision about whether you’re likely to be accepted for credit
You can apply with confidence
- If we agree to lend to you at this stage, it’s more likely that your full application will succeed
- Please remember; acceptance isn’t guaranteed at this point and we’ll need to perform a full credit check before we make a final decision
- This check will be noted on your credit file whether or not your application is successful
The initial decision from the eligibility check isn’t a firm guarantee that we’ll lend to you but it will give you more information before you apply for one of our cards.
Before you start checking eligibility
Who can use the Vanquis 'soft search' service
Anyone who wants to apply for a Vanquis credit card can use the ‘soft search’ service. It’s a really useful part of our process and it’s important you consider its recommendations. Credit is only available to UK residents at least 18 years old, and who aren’t legally restricted from getting credit, for example because of bankruptcy.
If you’re told your application isn’t likely to succeed, it’s a good idea to think very carefully before you do apply. A rejected application can damage your credit score and make it even harder for you to get credit.
How does a soft credit check work?
'Soft search’ works by taking a few key details about you and your finances, then using those details to build up a picture of your current situation and finances.
Once we have this information, we’ll perform a soft credit search to give you a quick initial decision.
What you’ll need for a soft credit check
- Your full name and date of birth.
- Your full address, residential status (homeowner/tenant etc.), and length of time you’ve lived at your current address. Your contact telephone number and email address.
- Your employment status, monthly income and expenditure, and number of dependents.
Can I use a soft search if I have bad credit?
Yes. In fact, we strongly recommend that you use the soft search credit card check function if you have bad credit. That’s because your official application is 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 more, and this can cause you more difficulty getting credit. Fortunately, using our ‘soft search’ checker means you’ll get a quick initial decision that won’t affect your credit score.
Improving your chances of being accepted
That’s easy. There are a several simple things you can do to increase your chances of being approved for a credit card from Vanquis or another lender:
- Check that your credit report is up to date and doesn’t contain any errors.
- Only apply for products that suit your situation. If you have a poor credit score, this means applying for a ‘credit card for bad credit’ rather than a ‘standard’ credit card.
- Only apply for one credit card at a time.
If you’re accepted for credit, always use your credit card carefully and correctly. This will show lenders that you’re responsible with credit and that you can manage your money successfully. Demonstrating this could really help improve your credit score.