Thinking of taking out a credit card? You may wonder whether you’ll be accepted straight away.
Well, it all depends on the lenders. But some lenders let you see if you’re eligible for the card before you apply.
Let’s find out more.
Check your eligibility
Before applying for a credit card, consider using a ‘soft search’ tool. This is a way of checking whether you’ll be accepted or rejected for the credit card before your apply, and can help you protect your credit history.
You see, every time you apply for a credit card it leaves a mark on your credit history. And if you’ve applied to a number of lenders over a short period of time, there’s a risk they’ll view you as desperate to borrow.
A soft search won’t leave a footprint on your credit history. This means you have the freedom to shop around and see what you’re eligible for without it being visible to lenders.
The UK’s three credit reference agencies each offer a free credit-checking service, CreditMatcher, Noddle and ClearScore. These suggest products that you’re likely to be accepted for based on your individual credit profile. So you can compare different types of credit cards to find one suitable to your circumstances.
If there is a particular credit card you want, check to see whether the credit card provider offers a soft search tool. Here at Ocean, we have the QuickCheck facility that lets you see whether you’ll be accepted for the Ocean credit card, and it doesn’t leave a footprint on your credit history.
Why do lenders check my credit history?
Your credit history is a record of all your borrowing activity over the last six years or so. It shows lenders whether you’ve been a responsible borrower in the past.
If you’ve previously missed payments or ever defaulted on an account, this will show on your credit history and future lenders will know. It’s negative marks like these that can affect an application for credit.
So, before you apply for a credit card, it’s a good idea to make sure your credit history is up to scratch. And there are ways you can improve your credit history. Perhaps the most obvious is to make sure you keep on top of your repayments – including any other credit agreements you have, like mobile phone contracts and utility bills.
Showing future lenders that you can manage your money helps them make a decision on whether to accept your application.