If you’re thinking about searching for a new credit card then you might want to consider checking your eligibility first, allowing you to check which credit cards could suit your circumstances, without affecting your credit score.
You may already have a reason for getting a credit card in mind, such as making a Purchase or Balance Transfer, or even using a Travel Credit Card to spend while abroad. But checking your eligibility will narrow down your search and give you an indication of which cards you are most likely to be accepted for.
Want to find out more about credit card eligibility and how a soft search works? Keep reading and find out more about the process of eligibility before you apply online. By using an eligibility tool such as MoneyMatcher, you can protect your credit score and understand which credit cards are best for you.
What is credit card eligibility?
- Quick way of finding out how likely you are to be accepted for a credit card
- Free to use eligibility checkers such as MoneyMatcher
- Protects your credit score
Credit card eligibility is based on your personal details and credit score successfully matching the eligibility criteria of credit card providers, who apply certain filters to their products meaning that only a certain percentage of customers will be accepted.
If you meet the criteria, you will be accepted for that product but if you fall short, you will be rejected and risk damaging your credit score.
That is why using a free eligibility tool such as MoneyMatcher is important prior to application, as it could give you a good indication of which products you are most likely to be accepted for before you apply.
Am I eligible for a credit card?
Your eligibility is usually based on your personal details combined with your credit score, allowing a provider to get an overview of your circumstances and assess whether or not you fit the criteria they have set out for their credit card product.
For example, a provider may require you to have a credit score of 500 (or an equivalent rating), combined with being a permanent UK resident and occupying a full-time job. If you satisfy all of these criteria, you will therefore be eligible to apply for one of their credit cards.
Depending on the particular credit card, you could find that your credit score isn’t high enough or you don’t satisfy a certain criterion. The bad news is that a provider is not obliged to tell you which particular criteria you fall short on. In this situation you are best off trying to improve your credit score and checking your eligibility again once it has improved.
What is a credit card soft search?
The process of checking your eligibility is also known as a soft search, meaning a provider will take a look at your credit profile and assess whether you are eligible or not, which will not affect your credit score. This is when a provider is simply assessing you for eligibility, using your personal details as an indication on whether you fit their specific criteria for acceptance.
When you actually apply for a credit card, this process is known as a hard search, meaning that it could affect your credit score depending on the result. The provider will take your credit score into account and perform a search of your credit profile to ascertain whether you have had issues with borrowing money in the past.
For example, if you have previously received a CCJ or declared bankruptcy, this process will usually flag up these issues, which could lead to a rejection when applying for credit.
How to check eligibility for a credit card?
To find out if you’re eligible for a credit card, you could use a free eligibility tool such as MoneyMatcher to find out. It only takes a few minutes and by providing a few personal details you can get a list of results that show your likelihood of approval.
Since checking your eligibility is free and you can avoid affecting your credit score, it may be worth doing so even if you don’t plan to apply straight away. The good news is that you can save your results through MyAccount and revisit them anytime you wish.
What you will need to calculate your eligibility
- Type of credit card you are searching for
- Personal details including:
- Date of birth
- Employment status
- Marital status
- Number of dependents
- Financial details (current income and debts)
- A few minutes of your time
These details will be used to establish whether or not you are eligible to apply for a credit card, based on the acceptance criteria from each provider. Once you fill in the required details and click ‘Get Results’ you will then be given the likelihood of approval for each product and can make a decision on whether you would like to apply for any of them, based on your eligibility.
Whilst it isn’t required to check your eligibility, you should also consider accessing your credit report prior to using an eligibility checker. This will allow you to find out if you have a good credit score and will give you an indication about how likely you are to be accepted for new forms of credit. If you have had trouble with borrowing money in the past, you might also want to think about improving your credit score. Find out more using the following guide here.
Now that you know everything you need about credit card eligibility, it’s time to get started on your comparison journey. Head over to MoneyMatcher using the link below and find out your eligibility for a credit card today.