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Joined ClearScore and clicked a 'See what credit cards youre eligible for', was this a hard search?

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As per title, I joined ClearScore as I'm trying to get an idea of credit ratings. 

On the dashboard there was a button to 'Check what credit cards you could be eligible for' which I clicked, not even because I'm right here and now wanting to open a credit card but more just out of curiosity. Now I'm paranoid I've done a hard search (?) for nothing but curiosity and wasted it and it could potentially reflect bad for no reason 

Should I worry about this?

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  • MikeJXE
    MikeJXE Posts: 3,145 Forumite
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    I joined clearscore a few days ago, emailed them as a lot of information they had gathered from my linked accounts were way off the mark. Received a reply how to correct it, trie the advice and it made no difference, My file is hardly relevant to me 
  • Ebe_Scrooge
    Ebe_Scrooge Posts: 7,320 Forumite
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    edited 5 December 2022 at 4:26PM
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    Mar_10 said:

    On the dashboard there was a button to 'Check what credit cards you could be eligible for' which I clicked, not even because I'm right here and now wanting to open a credit card but more just out of curiosity. Now I'm paranoid I've done a hard search (?) for nothing but curiosity and wasted it and it could potentially reflect bad for no reason 

    Should I worry about this?
    No, it'll do a soft search at most.  A hard search is only performed if you actually apply for credit.  And in any case, a single search (even a hard one) is no cause for concern.  It only becomes an issue if you have lots of hard searches in a very short space of time.
    Mar_10 said:
    I joined ClearScore as I'm trying to get an idea of credit ratings.
    You can ignore most of what you'll see on ClearScore.  The score they give you is utterly irrelevant, and is not used - not even seen - by any lender.  And, unless you're carrying a credit card balance from month-to-month (unless it's on a 0% promotional rate), then ignore any waffle about credit utilisation.
    All that matters is that the actual underlying data is factually correct.  So, things like name, address, previous addresses, what credit products you currently own, etc. etc. etc.  That's all that matters, and is all a lender will look at.

  • Mar_10
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    Mar_10 said:
    I joined ClearScore as I'm trying to get an idea of credit ratings.
    You can ignore most of what you'll see on ClearScore.  The score they give you is utterly irrelevant, and is not used - not even seen - by any lender.  And, unless you're carrying a credit card balance from month-to-month (unless it's on a 0% promotional rate), then ignore any waffle about credit utilisation.
    All that matters is that the actual underlying data is factually correct.  So, things like name, address, previous addresses, what credit products you currently own, etc. etc. etc.  That's all that matters, and is all a lender will look at.

    Alright, so that's good to know - thanks. Is the same applicable to Experian/Equifax then? My score there is 999 out of 999 with Credit Cards affordability as 'Good' and Loans affordability as 'Fair' 

    Me investigating this is mainly in preparation for applying for a mortgage next year, so would like to get ducks in a row now if there are any that need sorting
  • MalMonroe
    MalMonroe Posts: 5,783 Forumite
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    Hi and welcome. No, from what you say they won't have done a hard search - I think it even says that on Clearscore's website.

    Also, what's generally recommended on here is that if you see a credit card that you like the look of, go to their own website and you will be able to do a soft search there to see if you would be accepted. 

    Don't worry. As you probably know, your credit score is never seen by anyone but you. You'll be fine. Curiosity is not always a bad thing either! You need to know these things.

    Hope that helps.
    Please note - taken from the Forum Rules and amended for my own personal use (with thanks) : It is up to you to investigate, check, double-check and check yet again before you make any decisions or take any action based on any information you glean from any of my posts. Although I do carry out careful research before posting and never intend to mislead or supply out-of-date or incorrect information, please do not rely 100% on what you are reading. Verify everything in order to protect yourself as you are responsible for any action you consequently take.
  • Mar_10
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    MalMonroe said:
    Hi and welcome. No, from what you say they won't have done a hard search - I think it even says that on Clearscore's website.

    Also, what's generally recommended on here is that if you see a credit card that you like the look of, go to their own website and you will be able to do a soft search there to see if you would be accepted. 

    Don't worry. As you probably know, your credit score is never seen by anyone but you. You'll be fine. Curiosity is not always a bad thing either! You need to know these things.

    Hope that helps.
    Thanks Mal :)

    I didn't know that the actual score isn't seen by anyone but myself, so learned something again. I'd like to think lenders would look favorably on me when applying for a mortgage next year, but I'm a bit worried they may not have enough data to make a decision. 

    I've only briefly had a credit card in my name a few years ago, never any other credit products or debt in general. Would you say it's worth applying for a credit card again to build data for a future mortgage application?
  • Ebe_Scrooge
    Ebe_Scrooge Posts: 7,320 Forumite
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    edited 5 December 2022 at 5:00PM
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    Mar_10 said:
    Mar_10 said:
    I joined ClearScore as I'm trying to get an idea of credit ratings.
    You can ignore most of what you'll see on ClearScore.  The score they give you is utterly irrelevant, and is not used - not even seen - by any lender.  And, unless you're carrying a credit card balance from month-to-month (unless it's on a 0% promotional rate), then ignore any waffle about credit utilisation.
    All that matters is that the actual underlying data is factually correct.  So, things like name, address, previous addresses, what credit products you currently own, etc. etc. etc.  That's all that matters, and is all a lender will look at.

    Alright, so that's good to know - thanks. Is the same applicable to Experian/Equifax then?

    Me investigating this is mainly in preparation for applying for a mortgage next year, so would like to get ducks in a row now if there are any that need sorting
    Yes, it's the same for for all of them.  They have different rating scales for their scores, but the scores from each of them is as much use as a chocolate teapot.  Check all 3 of your files to make sure the data is correct, but ignore the scores completely.  Here's how to check them for free: https://www.moneysavingexpert.com/loans/check-free-credit-report/
    In case you're wondering, what a lender will do is look at the data in your credit report, feed it into their computer algorithms, and generate their own internal score.  Each lender will have different criteria and weightings (one reason why there cannot possibly be a "one-size-fits-all" score), and their scoring algorithms are confidential and commercially sensitive.  So you'll never know how a particular lender scores you, or why you get rejected.
    Just make sure that all the data is factually correct - do be aware that not all lenders report in to all 3 agencies.  So you may, for instance, see one of your credit cards appearing on one agency but not another.  That in itself if fine, just so long as any data that is recorded is accurate.  But things like names, addresses, Electoral Roll registration (personal rather than credit data) should be on all the reports, so query any discrepancy you may see that relates to those.
    Finally, the only other thing to bear in mind - don't go taking out any new credit agreements in the run-up to a mortgage application.



  • [Deleted User]
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    Mar_10 said:
    MalMonroe said:
    Hi and welcome. No, from what you say they won't have done a hard search - I think it even says that on Clearscore's website.

    Also, what's generally recommended on here is that if you see a credit card that you like the look of, go to their own website and you will be able to do a soft search there to see if you would be accepted. 

    Don't worry. As you probably know, your credit score is never seen by anyone but you. You'll be fine. Curiosity is not always a bad thing either! You need to know these things.

    Hope that helps.
    Thanks Mal :)

    I didn't know that the actual score isn't seen by anyone but myself, so learned something again. I'd like to think lenders would look favorably on me when applying for a mortgage next year, but I'm a bit worried they may not have enough data to make a decision. 

    I've only briefly had a credit card in my name a few years ago, never any other credit products or debt in general. Would you say it's worth applying for a credit card again to build data for a future mortgage application?
    While it might seen counterintuitive, having no credit can actually be bad as it makes you look like you have no history of using credit which can harm your mortgage application.

    Unless you are planning on applying in the next 6 months I would recommend you get a credit card and start using it properly - buy say the weekly groceries and then have a direct debit setup to take the full amount every month crucially after the statement is produced - doing this will build up an established history of credit use which will make you look better on the scoring system used by lenders (you will never see this). Ditto a mobile phone contract even if SIM only. Ensure you are on the electoral register and that there is nothing incorrect on the 3 free ones (Clear Score/Credit Karma/MSE Credit Club)   
  • Mar_10
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    Mar_10 said:
    Mar_10 said:
    I joined ClearScore as I'm trying to get an idea of credit ratings.
    You can ignore most of what you'll see on ClearScore.  The score they give you is utterly irrelevant, and is not used - not even seen - by any lender.  And, unless you're carrying a credit card balance from month-to-month (unless it's on a 0% promotional rate), then ignore any waffle about credit utilisation.
    All that matters is that the actual underlying data is factually correct.  So, things like name, address, previous addresses, what credit products you currently own, etc. etc. etc.  That's all that matters, and is all a lender will look at.

    Alright, so that's good to know - thanks. Is the same applicable to Experian/Equifax then?

    Me investigating this is mainly in preparation for applying for a mortgage next year, so would like to get ducks in a row now if there are any that need sorting
    Yes, it's the same for for all of them.  They have different rating scales for their scores, but the scores from each of them is as much use as a chocolate teapot.  Check all 3 of your files to make sure the data is correct, but ignore the scores completely.  Here's how to check them for free: 
    In case you're wondering, what a lender will do is look at the data in your credit report, feed it into their computer algorithms, and generate their own internal score.  Each lender will have different criteria and weightings (one reason why there cannot possibly be a "one-size-fits-all" score), and their scoring algorithms are confidential and commercially sensitive.  So you'll never know how a particular lender scores you, or why you get rejected.
    Just make sure that all the data is factually correct - do be aware that not all lenders report in to all 3 agencies.  So you may, for instance, see one of your credit cards appearing on one agency but not another.  That in itself if fine, just so long as any data that is recorded is accurate.  But things like names, addresses, Electoral Roll registration (personal rather than credit data) should be on all the reports, so query any discrepancy you may see that relates to those.
    Finally, the only other thing to bear in mind - don't go taking out any new credit agreements in the run-up to a mortgage application.



    Ah, it's starting to make sense now - it's the report that matters and the score is just 'noise'! 

    I take not of the advice not to take out new credit agreements in the run up to an application. It probably wouldn't be until about 6 months before applying - still safe to take out a credit card then?
  • Ebe_Scrooge
    Ebe_Scrooge Posts: 7,320 Forumite
    Name Dropper First Anniversary Combo Breaker First Post
    edited 5 December 2022 at 5:24PM
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    Mar_10 said:
    MalMonroe said:
    Hi and welcome. No, from what you say they won't have done a hard search - I think it even says that on Clearscore's website.

    Also, what's generally recommended on here is that if you see a credit card that you like the look of, go to their own website and you will be able to do a soft search there to see if you would be accepted. 

    Don't worry. As you probably know, your credit score is never seen by anyone but you. You'll be fine. Curiosity is not always a bad thing either! You need to know these things.

    Hope that helps.
    Would you say it's worth applying for a credit card again to build data for a future mortgage application?
    Yes.  As Farfetch says, having zero or very little credit history can be a negative - mostly for the simple reason that a lender has no historical data to judge you on.
    Just apply for any credit card.  You may have to look at one of the sub-prime "credit builder" cards, but that's fine.  Their interest rates tend to be higher than main-stream cards, but that doesn't matter as you won't be paying any interest.
    Use it for everyday purchases - food, petrol, whatever, wait for the statement to arrive, and pay IN FULL before the payment due date.  A Direct Debit for the full amount is simplest and safest.
    Only use it for stuff you need to buy anyway, only buy what you can afford to repay, and ALWAYS pay IN FULL, every month, without fail.  This will cost you nothing, and will gradually start to build up a favourable history of responsible borrowing and repayment.  Which, unsurprisingly, is what any lender likes to see.

  • [Deleted User]
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    6 months is fine, the hard search will be considered less important by then, just make sure you are using it properly
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