What is a credit application?

This is when you apply for any form of credit, including:

  • A current account

  • An overdraft

  • A credit card

  • A loan

  • A mortgage

The bank, building society or lender you choose will ask for permission to run a credit check on you as part of a credit application.

What is a credit check?

It is when a lender accesses your credit record to check how you manage your finances. Each credit check is noted on your credit record, whether you get accepted or not.

Every credit application you've made will be visible to the next lender you choose to apply for credit with. They'll also see if you've been declined or accepted before.

If you make several applications over a short time, it could indicate to lenders that you are desperate for credit.

When should you apply?

You should check your credit record first for anything that could damage your chances of getting accepted. This can include:

  • Missed payments on your credit accounts

  • Wrong addresses linked to your name

  • Credit applications you haven't made

Consider whether you could borrow everything you need in one application to avoid multiple credit checks.

If you get declined for an application, don't re-apply until you know why you weren't accepted.

If you keep applying for credit and getting declined, you could damage your credit record and not be able to borrow when you need to.