“Shopping around” for a personal loan WITHOUT hurting your credit score: The do’s & don’ts

By Rhianna Dews ·

When making a big purchase or financial commitment, the most common advice you’ll hear is to always “shop around” before deciding. However, when it comes to applying for a personal loan, if you go about this the wrong way, “shopping around” could be detrimental to your credit score, and potentially prevent you from being approved for the loan.

This means it’s super important to know how to avoid any negative strikes against your credit score and keep it in good shape. To make it simple for you, we’ve compiled a list of loan application ‘dos and don’t’s’ to ensure your credit score remains intact.

DO some window shopping to find the right loan for you

First and foremost, you should spend some time searching for the right personal loan which has all the features you want and need. With so much variety on offer, it can be a real challenge knowing what to look for and finding a personal loan that ticks all the boxes for you. To get an idea of what’s out there and to find a loan that suits your needs, start with a quick personal loan comparison.

You should look for personal loans that offer low interest rates, minimal fees and flexible features like free extra repayments to help you pay your loan off quicker, and a free redraw facility just in case you need access to additional funds in an emergency.

Personal loan comparison - last updated November 21, 2020

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DO check that you’re eligible for the loan BEFORE applying

Once you’ve gone through and eliminated the loans that you don’t want and are left with just your top potential personal loan picks, before you even consider filling out an application, you’ll need to make sure you’re actually eligible for the loan. It’s vital to check the loans’ eligibility requirements before you apply for a loan to get a better indication of whether or not you’ll be approved.

How to check if you’ll be eligible:
Each time you get rejected for a loan application, your credit score cops a beating in the process. If you want to protect your credit score, always remember to check that you’re eligible before applying! Various factors can determine whether or not you’ll qualify for a personal loan, such as the loan amount, your age and residency, and your credit score.

You can use our personal loan rate matcher tool to find personal loans that you’re eligible for, rather than taking a wild guess which runs the risk of applying for a loan that you’re not eligible for, which is a great way to avoid being rejected for a loan application which will ultimately hurt your credit score.

Don’t let your existing debt get out of hand

Whether you’re looking for a loan to consolidate debt, or you’re after a new credit option to add to your financial setup, don’t ignore any current bills or repayments you have while shopping around for a new personal loan. Missing repayments can be damaging to your credit score, and if you want to be approved for a new loan application, a poor rating is the last thing you need! Now’s the time to focus on keeping on top of any financial obligations to avoid accumulating any unwanted debt, and to show a potential lender that you can manage your money responsibly.

DON’T apply for heaps of different loans

What many people don’t know is that each time you submit a new loan application its recorded on your credit report. To a lender, applying for multiple loans could be a sign that you're frantically scrambling for money, making you an unattractive loan candidate. Plus, if you get rejected for numerous loans, your credit score will be dragged down in the process. All of these factors can spoil an otherwise good credit score. The key lesson here is to nail your options down to one final loan of choice. Don't just go and apply for loans willy-nilly!

Use our new personal loan rate matcher tool to run a free credit check that won’t show up on your credit report and to find tailored rates on eligible loans. Or, find out more about how to improve your credit score.

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