Last edited 28 Jun 2019

Credit check


A credit check is an investigation usually made by a lender into another company or individual which has applied for a loan or for some other form of credit e.g a credit card. The credit check helps the lender evaluate the potential risk of lending money to the applicant (the ‘debtor’) and what the likelihood of the debtor defaulting may be.

Credit checks attempt to ascertain the financial reliability of the entity that is being checked through their recent finance history, particularly their repayment record.

Typical lenders who might want credit checks include banks, building societies, landlords, mobile phone companies, on-line finance firms and credit card companies. For this purpose, they may use a credit rating agency to undertake the check. The agency may use a variety of statistical techniques and algorithms to arrive at a credit score which rates the applicant and gives an idea of the risk the lender may face if they proceed with granting credit.

Credit checks may include instances such as when:

  • An individual applies for a credit card and the card issuer wants to establish whether the person has a good record of repayment.
  • A sub-contractor applies for a loan to buy new equipment.
  • A client wants to ascertain whether the contractor has a good financial history.

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