Unlike applying, which uses a hard search that leaves a mark on your credit file and can be detrimental to getting future credit, our eligibility calculator uses a soft search.
We then map that data against providers' wish lists to find out how likely you are to be accepted.
Whilst you'll see the soft search on your credit file, lenders won't; therefore it has no impact on your ability to get future credit.
This means you can use this tool to home in on the card you're most likely to get, to minimise applications.
GOLDEN RULES FOR BALANCE TRANSFER CARDS
Thanks - just checking your chances of acceptance...
A balance transfer is when you get a new card that repays debts on other credit or store cards for you, so you owe it instead - hopefully at a cheaper rate - saving you £100s or £1,000s.
Not sure how they work? Read a full guide to balance transfer credit cards
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 agencies to check this against credit files,
to give an accurate indication of your chance of acceptance for most of our top pick cards.
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.
We collect your name, date of birth, address, post code, email address and certain details about your personal circumstances if you choose to interact with our Eligibility tools.
We will use this information in conjunction with HD Decisions and the following UK credit reference agencies Callcredit Limited ("Callcredit"), Equifax Limited (“Equifax”) and Experian Ltd (“Experian”) to:
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.
This is the minimum amount of information we can ask for to get an acceptably accurate score. Different information is required for different reasons:
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.
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 'HDD-PRICE COMPARISON-BARCLAYCARD'. For Experian, there will be at least one search flagged as a 'Credit Card Quotation' with the words 'MONEYSAVINGEXPERT (HD DECISIONS)', however there may be some other searches too. These additional searches are where additional lender specific data is required to calculate likelihood of acceptance for their products. They are not guaranteed to be made in every case, but if they are they will flagged as 'Credit Card Quotation' with the words 'HD DECISIONS – <Lender Name>' (where <Lender Name> will be substituted with the lender the search was for).
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 calculator.
Secondly, everything that can be done to help, you can do yourself. All of the following are worth a try:
For loads more tips, see our full Credit Rating guide
Firstly, this tool focuses on giving you odds for best-buy cards; so many cards that don’t trouble the top of the tables aren’t included.
However you may have noticed a few of the cards listed in results say “No Eligibility Score”, rather than giving an eligibility score. This happens for a few reasons:
Where a card is a strong best buy and we haven’t included it for the reasons above, we will include it but without an eligibility score as we don’t want you to miss it.
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.
We think it's important you understand the strengths and limitations of the site. We're a journalistic website and aim to provide the best MoneySaving guides, tips, tools and techniques, but can't guarantee to be perfect, so do note you use the information at your own risk and we can't accept liability if things go wrong.
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