How Many Credit Inquiries Are Too Many?

How many credit inquiries are too many?

By Matt Fernell, Editor-in-Chief at Last updated 1st May 2024.

Matt Fernell

Applying for borrowing products leaves a mark on your credit file. It's best not to submit too many credit applications at once, but you can still shop around.

What is a credit application?

A credit application is when you apply for any form of credit, such as:

Your potential bank or lender will ask for your consent to run a credit check as part of the application process.

When should you apply?

Before you apply for any type of credit, it's good to check your credit file to ensure that all the information is accurate, up-to-date, and free of errors. Some of the mistakes that you need to look out for are:

  • Missed payments on your credit accounts
  • Wrong addresses linked to your name
  • Credit applications you haven't made
  • Payments that aren't recorded
  • Debts that are already paid yet inaccurately recorded

What information is in my credit record?

Your credit report will contain information about your financial history. This comes from banks, credit card companies and building societies you have borrowed money from in the past or currently owe to. There will also be information from publicly available sources, from your mobile phone provider and others. Your report is likely to have the following information:

  1. Your name, current address and other personal details
  2. If you are on the electoral roll at your present address
  3. Joint financial products you currently hold (such as a current account)
  4. How much credit you have outstanding
  5. Missed payments on past or existing accounts
  6. Late payments on past or existing credit cards or unsecured loans / secured loans
  7. If you joined an Individual Voluntary Arrangement (IVA)
  8. County Court Judgements (called "Decrees" in Scotland) filed against you, bankruptcies and home repossessions for six years after they occur
  9. If you have ever moved away whilst owing money

Why are too many applications bad?

When a lender obtains your credit record, they will review how you handle your finances. Each credit check is recorded on your credit report, whether you get accepted or rejected.

Every credit application you've made will be visible to the next lender or creditor you apply to. They can see if you've been rejected or approved before.

Lastly, by making numerous applications over a short time, it could appear to lenders that you are desperate for a loan or credit, which unfortunately may decrease the likelihood they will lend to you.

The information provided does not constitute financial advice, it’s always important to do your own research to ensure a financial product is right for your circumstances. If you’re unsure you should contact an independent financial advisor.