MSE pre-apply eligibility checker – balance transfer cards

GOOD NEWS: Unlike applying for a card, this leaves NO credit search on your credit file that lenders can see

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We will not use this information for anything other than doing this eligibility check

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Part 1 of 2 – please read both parts

This service is provided by HD Decisions Ltd ("HD"), on behalf of

By submitting your details, you are consenting to HD passing your details to Callcredit Limited ("Callcredit"), a UK consumer credit reference agency, which will create your credit report based on these details, and will provide this to HD. HD has been appointed as a processing agent for a number of credit card providers. HD will (on behalf of such credit providers) analyse key elements of your credit file, in order to determine your current financial standing. The analysis of your credit file will be used by HD to identify and rank credit card offers in order of appropriateness for your circumstances (but this does not necessarily guarantee that there will be appropriate credit card offers available to you). This ranked list of offers will then be displayed on the next page. You will then have the opportunity to apply for a credit card directly with the credit card company should you choose to do so. You may update your search results as many times as you want within the 24 hours following your first use of the service, without a further analysis of your credit file being undertaken by Callcredit. Any searches or updates made after this time would result in another analysis of your credit file.

Please note your credit file will not be provided to you directly, nor will any information be passed to any credit card provider at any point during this process (unless you subsequently agree to this). The information will be used by HD, at your request, on your behalf, to find the most appropriate credit card offers for you.

This process will not have any adverse impact upon your credit standing.

By selecting a card, you are not committing to make an application for a credit card. If you choose to proceed to apply for a credit card from the ranked list of offers, then the credit card company will proceed to carry out their own identification and credit application checks.

Please note that the provision of your credit report to 'HD' is subject to the Callcredit Terms and Conditions ("Terms and Conditions")

You agree that the personal details you have submitted will be used by HD and Callcredit for the purposes of:

  1. verifying your identity in order to ensure that Callcredit is providing your credit report in accordance with your instructions;
  2. providing services to Callcredit's clients in which your personal details are used to assist with identity verification, prevention of fraud/money laundering, service delivery and process implementation.

Part 2 of 2

By clicking 'Submit' you consent for's appointed processing agent HD Decisions Ltd ("HD") to share your personal data with the credit reference agency Equifax to carry out a quotation search on behalf of one or more credit card providers. A record of the search will be recorded on your credit report in the name of HD and the respective credit card provider but will not be seen by other lenders and will not affect your credit rating but may be used for fraud prevention purposes.

The credit reference agency information supplied to HD includes both public (including the electoral register) and shared credit and fraud prevention information. It will be used to help find the most appropriate credit card offers for you.

You can contact Equifax as follows. They will charge you a small statutory fee if you wish to obtain a copy of your credit report.

Equifax, Credit File Advice Centre, PO Box 1140, Bradford, BD1 5US or call 0844 335 0550 or log on to

How does this work?

This tool was built in partnership with data analysis firm HD Decisions. It has worked with lenders to find the type of customer they want, and with credit reference agency Callcredit to check this against credit files, to give an accurate indication of your chance of acceptance for most of our top pick cards.

  • Will this affect my credit score? (NO!)

    In a word, no.

    When you apply for any credit card (or loan, mortgage, or more), the bank will check your credit file as part of its decision whether to accept you. That search can be seen by other lenders in future – possibly hitting your ability to get credit.

    But here, we're are using a technique with 'consumer enquiries' - or 'soft searches', as they're known. These let you check your credit file to see how likely you are to be accepted, but they leave no mark. You'll be able to see the search yourself when you next check your credit file, but nobody else will.

    This means for most cards, we can only give a percentage chance of acceptance, rather than saying you'll definitely be accepted. When banks credit-score you, they take other factors into account too – though your credit file is a massive one – so you'll need to apply fully on their websites before you get a final answer.

  • Do you store personal data? (NO!)

    We need this information to do the check for you. But we don't need to keep it once it's been used, so we don't.

    Each soft search costs us money, so we do hold onto the data for 30 days, so that if you return and do another search in this time we don't have to pay again.

    After 30 days, only anonymous data is kept (i.e. you cannot be identified from it), which lets us check that the results the tool gives are accurate.

  • How accurate is the acceptance score?

    The company which helped us build this tool, HD Decisions, works with banks to find out the type of customers they normally accept for each credit card. This is based on both the answers you give, and the 'soft search' of your credit file.

    HD Decisions has been around for a few years, and regularly checks its predicted approval rates against the actual amount of people accepted when they apply. On the testing it's done, these two match up well.

    The accuracy varies between credit card companies, and can be improved by more people using the tool.

  • Why do you need this info?

    This is the minimum amount of information we can ask for to get an acceptably accurate score. Different information is required for different reasons:

    • Name, address, date of birth. This is required in order to find your file at the credit bureau – pivotal for working out your likelihood of acceptance.
    • Employment info, and further address details. This info isn't on your credit files, but it's frequently used by banks when deciding whether to lend – they simply ask you on the application form instead.
    • Who you bank with. Banks may have different lending criteria for customers that already hold a current account with them. By asking this, it helps us be more accurate when working out the likelihood of being accepted for those particular products.
  • Do you keep my details secure? (YES!)

    Yes. As the small padlock or key towards the left of the address bar in the browser, and the https:// at the start of the web address indicates, this tool is secure (for the techies among you, it uses an SSL certificate).

    Essentially, all of this ensures that the information you provide will be encrypted before transmission and cannot be read by anyone else. This is the same technology used by banks within their online banking services.

  • What will I see on my credit file?

    The soft searches will appear in a separate 'other searches' section of your credit file – not in the 'credit searches' section with the ones lenders can see. They will be clearly identified so that you can remember what they were for.

    For Call Credit the search will be flagged as an 'Administrative Review' with the words 'HD Decisions (Moneysavingexpert)' and for Equifax the search will be flagged as a 'Quotation Search' with the words 'Barclaycard - HD Decisions Ltd.'

  • How can I improve my credit rating?

    NEVER believe companies who offer to 'repair your credit score' for a fee. Firstly, universal credit scores don't exist – different companies rate you differently, which is the point of this eligibility checker.

    Secondly, everything that can be done to help, you can do yourself. All of the following are worth a try:

    • Never miss payments!
    • Ensure you're on the electoral roll
    • Don't apply straight after another rejection
    • Spend a little each month on ANY credit card, and pay off in full to avoid interest and build a history
    • Good stability helps – having a landline and long-term bank account helps give this impression

    For loads more tips, see our full Credit Rating guide

  • Why can't we check your eligibility for every single card?

    You may have noticed that a few of the cards listed in results say “Not Rated,” rather than giving an eligibility score. We would like to be able to indicate your chances of getting all the best buy cards that we list in our guides. Sadly, this isn’t possible yet, for a couple of reasons:

    • In some cases, we haven’t been able to get the necessary agreement from the lender to include their cards.
    • For some lenders, their technology/IT systems aren’t compatible with allowing us to check your eligibility for their cards.
    • As we pay each time you search (we do the soft search via an external firm), while we feature and include all cards in articles purely based on editorial merit - if they don’t have an affiliate link (ie a link which we get paid by when you click) to recoup our costs we can’t do an eligibility check on them.
  • I'm Pre-Approved. What does that mean?

    Some lenders, usually ones you already have a banking relationship with, have enough information on you and your financial situation to be able to pre-approve you for certain credit cards. This means that they will be able to grant you the card without doing a full credit check when you apply.

    When you click through, you’ll see a normal credit card application page, which’ll say you’re pre-approved, and then will have to go on and fill in the form. But don’t worry, the lender will track the pre-approval through the application process, so will know not to credit check you at the end.

    However, pre-approval is not a complete cast-iron guarantee that you will get the card, in some exceptional circumstances you’ll get declined for other reasons – the bank still has to carry out some checks for identity and fraud purposes, and there’s a very small chance some will fail on these.