Over the years as a Mortgage Broker in Leeds, we have found an increase in people paying a lot more attention to their credit rating. As a result of this, we have found that many people who get in touch with our team have already researched online to find a copy of their credit report.
There are many different credit reference agencies to choose from, but the two most popular companies you may know are Experian and Equifax.
Our team highly recommend that new customers who contact us look to use Check My File. By doing this, you’ll find a report that offers customers a collation of information from various sources (the aforementioned two included) in an easy understandable colour-coded report.
You sign up for a 30-day free trial with Check My File and after the 30 days, you will be charged £14.99 a month. This can be cancelled at any time before the end of those 30 days.
When dealing with customers, our Mortgage Advisors in Leeds are often asked if they will be doing a credit search on them. This is usually a customer who knows that too many searches can negatively impact their credit score.
Our mortgage advisors will always get permission for the customer to run a credit check, whereas the lender will run their own checks. There are two types of credit searches, one is hard searches and the other is soft searches. Below we will explain the difference between the two as well as how they can help.
A hard credit search is a type of credit check that provides an in-depth look at your credit report. All financial institutions that carry out one of these will need to seek your permission before undertaking this check.
One of the benefits of a ‘hard’ search would be how detailed it goes. Having this carried out and passing it can increase the chance of you being successful with a mortgage, however, this is not always guaranteed).
After passing this, the only thing that could go wrong with your mortgage process is if you cannot provide the required documentation to back up the information that you have presented to the lender, or it turns out you have provided incorrect information altogether.
Another advantage to having a hard credit search carried out will leave a ‘footprint’ on your credit file meaning that anyone looking at your report can see that this search has already been done on your file.
Having this mark on your file is not a bad thing at all, however, if your credit file shows that there have been multiple searches carried out in a short period of time. By having these displayed, it could give the impression to the mortgage lender that you are applying for lots of credit at the same time which wouldn’t work in your favour.
An important point you need to know about the ‘footprint’ is that it will not leave a note to confirm whether or not your application was successful. Therefore, having several searches highlighted on your report can result in the lenders’ systems assuming wrongly that you are being declined regularly. Think about it; why would you apply for credit with a second lender, unless you’d been declined by the first?
If you have the occasional hard footprint on your record it’s not going to be a massive issue which is why you don’t need to worry about it too much. It’s best to be careful not to have too many of these taken out.
The other type is a soft credit search. Opposite to a hard credit search, this would be a more straightforward approach by looking at your financial situation. These are normally done through price comparison websites, so you can find out what options may be on offer for you.
Another way it can be used is to verify your identity. Some mortgage lenders will carry out soft searches of their own. It can be common to find these days that even more lenders are changing to this type of credit search.
Even though the one drawback of a soft search is that you will get less information out of it in comparison to a hard search, if you managed to obtain an Agreement in Principle from a lender, this still can be a positive indicator that your application will be accepted.
The one factor that makes soft searches appealing to customers is that you are able to see soft searches that others have carried out on you (many are often surprised by how many have been carried out on them), but these searches will not be visible to other financial institutions like a bank or lender.
Because of this, you will be able to apply for an Agreement in Principle ahead of a mortgage in Leeds, without causing any damage to your credit score, whether you are successful or not.
In the case where you are a First Time Buyer in Leeds looking at making any offers on a property, our expert Mortgage Advisors in Leeds would highly recommend you get a mortgage Agreement in Principle before getting in touch with an estate agent.
It can be ideal to give yourself the best possible chance of securing your dream property at the lowest possible price. Therefore if you present yourselves as having your finances organised, it’s likely you will give yourself the upper hand in your mortgage situation.
Having an Agreement in Principle to hand can also help stop an estate agent from trying to cross-sell any of their own mortgage products to you.