Credit card eligibility checker
Run a free credit card eligibility check without affecting your credit score
What is a credit card eligibility checker?
It’s a tool that runs a check to see which credit cards you’re most likely to be accepted for.
It’ll check your credit file, but without leaving a mark on it, so it’s a way to see if you’re likely to be accepted before you actually apply.
Why should I check my eligibility?
A check won’t adversely affect your credit score, whereas making an application will.
When you make an application for a credit card, the lender will perform a ‘hard’ search on your credit history. This leaves a footprint on your credit report.
If you make a lot of applications in a short space of time, lenders might see it as a sign that you may be financially struggling. So they will be less likely to want to lend to you.
Running a credit card eligibility check uses a ‘soft’ credit search instead that lenders won’t be able to view on your credit report, no matter what the result is. It therefore won’t negatively impact your credit rating.
Also, because the eligibility checker lets you know which credit cards you’re most likely to be accepted for, you can limit your actual applications and so avoid adverse effects to your credit score.
How does a credit card eligibility checker work?
The checker runs a soft credit check based on the information you provide and what it finds on your credit report.
It sets this data against the criteria of the credit card provider and calculates your chances of getting approved for specific cards and deals.
What information do I need to use the eligibility checker?
You’ll need to provide some personal details including:
- your name
- date of birth
- your address and how long you’ve lived there
The checker will also need to know:
- your employment status
- your gross annual income
- whether or not you have financial dependants
How can I improve my chances of being accepted for a credit card?
- Running an eligibility check – rather than applying for a credit card right away – won’t impact your credit score whereas rejected applications will
- If you’ve been rejected for a credit card, check your credit report in case there are any errors on it that may be adversely influencing your credit score. Then contact the credit agencies to get any incorrect information put right
- There are a few things you can do to boost your credit score to improve your chances of getting accepted for credit. These include getting on to the electoral roll and paying off some of your debts. A reliable payment history is also a factor in helping increase your score. So set up direct debits to pay on time for regular bills such as your mobile phone or car loan
Frequently asked questions
Most credit card companies will need you to:
- Be over 18
- Live at a UK address
- Have at least three years of address history
They should remain valid as long as there are no changes to your credit report.
It’s usually updated every month, though this can vary between credit reference agencies.
Running an eligibility check for a credit card won’t leave a footprint on your credit report whereas making multiple applications will.
There are lenders who will accept your application for a credit card even if you’ve had credit problems in the past.
You’ll probably find you’ll only have access to cards that offer low limits of credit (and sometimes higher rates of interest).
If you manage to keep up repayments and make them on time, then your credit score should improve.
But remember to run an eligibility check first as applying for multiple cards with little idea of whether or not you’ll be accepted will lower your credit score even more.