How does an eligibility check differ from a hard check?
Fundamentally they differ based on a credit check. A full credit check is always undertaken when applying for any form of credit - from loans and mortgages to car finance or credit cards. A hard check does leave a mark on your credit report, this is visible to other lenders. It’s worth remembering, too many hard searches can lead to lenders thinking you're not creditworthy. This is particularly important as too many hard searches over a short period may lead to further rejection of credit.
A pre-application eligibility check doesn't require a full credit search. The lets you see whether you're likely to be accepted or not. It does this without leaving any mark on your credit file. A credit card eligibility check is a soft search check, this isn't visible to lenders. So it won't be flagged on your credit report. An eligibility checker provides indication that you're pre-approved, a full application requires a hard credit search.
What information do I need to provide for an eligibility check?
Remember, this can vary from one lender to another. Typically though, you'd be expected to provide your name, address and date of birth. This is matched to your credit file and used to verify your identity.
You may also need to provide details of previous addresses - different card providers have different criteria for how far back they ask for information on.
You may also need to provide information on your income and employment. This is usually done to ensure you can meet the lender’s affordability criteria.
Different lenders may have additional requirements, however.
Once the above information has been provided, lenders then use this to complete their soft search. A soft search, unlike a hard credit search will not leave any 'application for credit' marks on your credit report. This can be useful if you have bad credit or no credit history at all.
When completing a full application, lenders will complete a hard credit search. Typically using credit reference agencies such as Experian, Equifax or TransUnion.
Does 118 118 Money offer an eligibility checker?
Yes, we offer an eligibility checker for both our products - personal loans and credit cards.