When searching for short term and payday loans, you may often see the term “no credit check payday loans” come up. But what exactly does this mean?
This short guide will answer the following questions and help you make an informed decision when looking and applying for short-term loans.
- what is a credit check?
- what are soft credit checks?
- do no credit check loans exist?
- what do I need to know when looking for short-term loans online?
What is a credit check?
Every time you apply for some form of credit (such as a loan or credit card) and even, in some cases, utilities and mobile phones, then the potential lender will carry out a check on your credit file.
What is a credit file?
This is a file, unique to you, that holds details of your current (and past 6 years’ worth) financial and personal status. The data is complied from a number of sources and are held on file by each of three main credit referencing agencies in the UK – Experian, CallCredit and Equifax. These commercial organisations will supply your credit file to a lender when you apply for credit.
You should be aware that you’ll probably have three slightly different ‘versions’ of your credit report. This is because potential lenders may not always share the very same information with all three of the credit reference agencies, making it very important that you regularly check your credit file with all three organisations to verify that the information is correct.
Why do lenders carry out a credit check?
By looking at the information on your credit file and calculating your credit score, the lender can then decide whether they will lend to you, and, if so at what rate. The higher your credit score, the more likely you are to get accepted for credit – and at an attractive rate of interest.
How do lenders calculate a credit score?
They will typically look at a number of things in order to calculate your score. This generally includes:
- your full name and date of birth (to confirm your identity);
- whether you are on the electoral roll (as this confirms your address);
- how long you have lived at your current address (the longer the better – someone who moves home regularly may seem a higher risk as, if they default on their loan repayments, they may be harder to track down);
- how much debt you have;
- how much credit you have available (if you have a £4,000 limit on your credit card but the current balance is £150, potentially you could access another £3,850 – this amount needs to be taken in to consideration);
- whether you have a good track record of paying your bills on time – or not;
- if you have previously experienced financial difficulty and have County Court Judgments, Individual Voluntary Arrangements or are a discharged bankrupt;
- if you have recently applied for a lot of credit – repeated applications smacks of financial desperation.
By getting a full picture of your past and current personal and financial status, as well as looking at how you have managed your finances previously, a lender can then give you a credit score.
What are soft credit checks?
As touched upon in the previous section (point number 8), if you make lots of applications for credit in a short period of time, this will raise alarm bells for any potential lender.
That is why, when you apply for credit, short term credit brokers may carry out a ‘soft’ credit check first, so as to not to leave a footprint on your credit file.
A soft credit check enables a broker to get an overview of your credit file, allowing them to make an educated guess on what your credit score is likely to be. They can then match you to the most suitable lender – i.e. the one/s whose lending criteria you meet.
Credit providers have different criteria as to whom they will lend to. Some will have a minimum credit score cut off point, so typically only accept the custom of people with excellent credit scores.
Others may specialise in providing credit for people with lower than average credit scores, so may be known as bad credit payday loan providers etc.
Experienced credit brokers will use their knowledge to match you to a lender who, if you decide to go ahead with the application, will then carry out a full credit check (which will show up on your credit file).
This may typically be more preferable than applying directly to lots of lenders as each one may carry out a full credit search which will be recorded on your file.
Do no credit check loans exist?
Now you have an understanding of what credit scores are and how credit checks work, you may already know the answer to the above question.
Just for clarification, the answer is “No”.
When looking online for short terms loans and other forms of credit, don’t be misled by advertisements from companies that say they offer no credit check loans.
Even if you apply for credit through a broker (who may typically carry out a soft search – one that doesn’t show up on your credit file), if you proceed with your application with a lender, they will carry out a full credit check.
There is no escaping having a credit check carried out – here’s why:
- so a lender can make sure that what you are applying for is affordable based on your current financial situation, thereby protecting you from struggling with debt further down the line;
- to make sure that the lender stands a very good chance of getting the money they lend to you repaid. By looking at your past financial behaviour (as well as other things), they can predict the likelihood of you repaying the debt.
Beware of any broker or lender who says they offer no credit check loans – they may not be as reputable as you imagine.
What do I need to know when looking for short-term loans online?
You have a financial emergency – what do you do? Before you start looking for credit online, check to see if you have any other options – can you wait until your next payday, for instance? Or have a big sell up on Ebay to raise some money?
Remember, taking on debt, however much you need, should be considered carefully. If you have a real financial emergency, have exhausted any other options and need to find a loan fast, here is what you need to know when looking online:
- don’t go online and apply for multiple loans in the hope that the more loans you apply for, the more likely you will get accepted for one. All this will do is damage your credit score;
- do your homework first and shop around for short-term loans to get a feel for the different interest rates charged. Note that if you use an online loan cost calculator, the result may typically be based on you having a good to excellent credit score. This means that the interest rate stated may not be the interest rate you are offered;
- when comparing short-term loans, look at the product features, as these may vary between providers. For example, are you charged an administration fee if you repay the loan early? What are the fees associated with taking the loan? And so on;
- to avoid having lots of credit checks showing up on your credit file, consider using a short-term loan broker to find a loan on your behalf. They will carry out a soft search first, then place your application with a suitable credit provider (i.e. one whose lending criteria you meet). This improves your chances of getting accepted for credit;
- when applying with a broker or lender, check that they are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and that they have a registration number. You can usually find this information at the foot of the homepage and it means that the provider has to work to specific rules which are designed to protect you, the consumer;
- once you have a firm offer for a payday loan or other short-term loan, do make sure that you will comfortably be able to repay the money on the agreed dates. Failure to do so could not only see you face additional fees and charges (which can be costly) but will be recorded on your credit file.
As this guide has hopefully explained, no credit check payday loans – or any other form of no credit check lending for that matter – do not exist.
When applying for credit, be aware of any brokers or lenders who say they offer this facility, as, we believe, it is misleading.
At InstantLolly, when you apply for a short term from us, we will carry out a soft credit check search first (which does not leave a footprint on your credit file).
Once we have an overview of your financial status, we can then match you to a suitable lender. Only once you have then made a formal application to that lender will a full credit search be carried out.