What is a credit check and do credit searches or ‘footprints’ on my credit file affect my ability to obtain credit?

A credit check is a snapshot of all of your current and previous credit agreements, it details your payment history, missed or late payments, defaults and CCJ’s, it also holds details of any individual voluntary arrangements or bankruptcies for at least 6 years.

Every time a lender or credit company searches your file, it leaves a mark on your report (known as a ‘footprint’). If you have too many credit searches in a short space of time, this could be flagged up to lenders (depending on the type of credit applied for) and can have a negative effect on your ability to obtain credit with them, as well as potentially lowering your credit score.