We appreciate that applicants looking to borrow money through our website will be eager to protect their credit ratings. Whilst we always carry out sufficient criteria, credit and affordability checks prior to funding a loan – if the loan is repaid in full and on time, this should not have a negative impact on your credit rating.

Most companies that offer payday loans and credit related products carry out credit checking as a key part of their decision-making process. This is because it gives the lender a good idea of the individual’s credit history and how well they have repaid other forms of credit in the past and their existing debt-to-loan ratio.

We typically carry out credit checks during the later stages of the application to assess a customer’s eligibility. We explain below how we use credit checking and the outcomes of an application when applying through our website.

We leave a credit search footprint

search-footprint

We work with some of the main credit reference agencies in the UK. When we receive a new application and it has passed our initial checks, we will use the information provided by credit reference agencies and review your credit history accordingly.

When reviewing your credit record, we leave a ‘search footprint’ as evidence of the date and time that we looked at your credit history. If you are someone that regularly checks your own credit profile, you will be able to see this and even receive an automated update from your credit file provider.

If you request a copy of your credit report, this enquiry is harmless and purely shows as a record on your credit file however a full application search can affect your credit score. It is not uncommon to have up to 12 credit searches within one year and the mark will disappear from your account after 12 months.

What could negatively affect my credit rating?

Too many search footprints – having several records made in a short space of time suggests that you may have been making numerous applications. This could suggest fraud, which is why it is useful to subscribe to credit reports and receive updates if there is any activity.

Similarly, it could mean that you have been making applications because you are in desperate need for finance. Since creditors can see the other search records that have been made, it could make you seem desperate for cash and limit your chances of approval.

Failing to meet repayments ­– this is probably the biggest factor that will negatively affect your credit score. By missing monthly repayments, the information may be sent to credit reference agencies who will then update your credit record accordingly.

Your file needs to be updated because if you go to apply with other creditors and they check your record, they may not want to lend to someone who is falling behind on repayments.

If you only miss repayment by one day, this is unlikely to have any effect. But if your payment is late by a few days and falls into a state of arrears, your credit rating may have a default mark against it.

Pay plan or arrangement – Similarly, if you are unable to make your full repayment at the end of the month, your lender may offer you an ‘arrangement to pay.’ This involves breaking down your repayments into smaller amounts and repaying over a longer period of time. Some lenders view this as a default and an arrangement to pay can stay on your credit report for up to 6 years and impact your credit rating.

CCJs, IVA, Bankruptcy – By failing to make repayments for loans and credit cards for a long period of time, you may eventually require a CCJ, IVA or to declare yourself bankrupt. Any missed collections will already cause your credit score to fall, but a CCJ and IVA will remain on your credit report for 6 years and a bankruptcy for 10 years. (Source: Experian)

Your Spouse – if you have any joint bank accounts or a mortgage with your spouse and they start to default on payments, this may also affect your credit rating. Being linked to them financially may negatively impact you too and be frowned upon by some lenders.

What can improve your credit rating?

Joining the electoral roll – one of the most basic things to do to get your credit score up and running is to join the electoral roll. This is based on the principle that having your name and address registered with the local authorities shows that you are a real person with a real residence, increasing your credibility.

Repaying a loan on time – if failing to repay your loans and credit cards will make your credit score go down, well paying your bills in full and on time may make it go up or maintain its current position. This does not apply for all types of loans and cards, but there are specific credit builder credit cards which allow you to make monthly repayments for the purpose of improving your score.

Removing cards or loans you don’t need – one of the factors that affect your credit rating is the number of loans and cards that you have open. So, if there are any loans that you no longer need or you find that you are in a financial position to pay them off, it is recommended to do so. Similarly, if you have signed up for any credit or store cards that you have not used in years, consider closing them.

Removing any association with spouses – if you have any joint accounts with spouses or siblings and they are starting to miss repayments. Rather than it potentially damaging your credit score, you could look at disassociating yourself and simply having your own accounts instead.

It is important to be aware that Uncle Buck share data with credit reference agencies which includes payment history information and other lenders may see evidence of payday type lending on your credit file.  Each lender looks at the information presented in different ways and, although we cannot say with certainty, this may influence applications for longer term credit products, such as a mortgage.