There’s a lot of confusion about credit ratings amongst people seeking personal loans and other forms of credit.
Many people believe – wrongly – that a credit record shows whether a lender has refused credit. This is not the case. Every time you apply for credit a ‘footprint’ is created on your credit record to show other financiers what you have been up to, but no record is immediately made as to whether you took up an offer, or whether it was refused.
One thing that varies from lender to lender is ‘how much is too many?’ Most of us are familiar with the concept that lenders looking at a credit record showing multiple applications may – quite rightly – view this as a sign of someone desperately seeking credit. As this is rarely the sign of a good potential client, many lenders will turn this applicant down on principal.
But how much is ‘too many’ when it comes to applications. Lenders will obviously vary, according to their criteria, but a flag usually goes up if more than four applications have been made at any one time. If the applications are spread across a period of months, the lender will be more lenient.
Another factor that people misunderstand about their credit rating is how much stability affects their core rating.
When you apply for credit – be it a mortgage, a credit card or a personal loan – the lender wants to know more than anything that you will be able to repay. The greater the risk perceived, the higher the interest rate charged, which is why bad credit loans can be so expensive.
Factors affecting this can be whether you are married – a sign of committment – whether you are registered as a voter, how many times you have moved house and even how many times you have moved job.
Someone who is seen as high risk is not necessarily someone with a history of missed repayments and ccjs, but maybe someone who has jumped from job to job, moved house or town many times and generally shown a lack of stability.
So, if you’re wondering why you weren’t offered the best rates available on the loan you wanted, you may need to look deeper than you thought.