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Zopa and credit searches: everything you need to know

We take our position as a responsible lender extremely seriously, so it’s important that we get a full financial picture of our loan customers to help us decide whether a loan is affordable. This is why Zopa performs credit searches.

Credit searches allow us to confirm your personal information and see your credit history, as well as other public records that help us make our decision.

There are different types of credit searches. Here’s your quick guide to ones we use:

Soft searches

We use a soft search to give you a personalised quote before you fully apply. This allows us to let you know the rate you’ll get and we can even tell you how likely you are to be accepted.

Soft searches won’t leave a mark on your credit file. You’ll be able to see that one took place but other lenders won’t be able to see that you’ve received a quote from us. The credit bureaus we use for soft searches are Transunion and Equifax. You might also see a soft search from Zopa on your credit file if you looked for a quote on comparison sites.

Pic by Chaz Hutton

Remember, not all lenders will use a soft search to give you a quote before you apply.  We think it’s the right thing to do because it gives you the chance to make an informed decision before submitting a full application, which will leave a mark on your credit file.

Hard searches

When you submit a credit application, we perform a hard search. This will appear on your credit file for everyone to see. We only use Transunion for hard searches.

Too many hard searches in a short period of time may impact your credit score and therefore your ability to be accepted for new lines of credit.

We will only conduct one of these hard searches for an application, and only after you click to ‘submit’ your application.

Associate Searches

When you request a quote, we’ll also search the file of any person that you’re financially tied to.

These people are known as ‘financial associates’. They can be linked through things like joint credit applications or joint accounts.

An associate search will be visible to your associate if they look at their credit file, but other lenders won’t be able to see it. It won’t affect their ability to apply for credit.

If you find you’re linked to someone who you don’t believe you should be financially tied to, you can file for a disassociation with the Credit Reference Agencies (CRAs) to have this amended.