What is a credit enquiry?

Credit enquiries are a record left on your credit file showing that you applied for credit.

This credit file is held by credit reporting agency Veda, which is now acquired by Equifax.

Each time a lender views your credit file, they leave an enquiry as a record of your application with them.

Too many are a problem…

If you have many enquiries on your credit file then the lenders will see you as a high risk borrower.

They worry that you may have been declined by all of the other lenders, and they wonder what the other lenders know about you that they don’t!

As a result, your credit score is reduced.

The good news is that some lenders have low credit score home loans for Australians that have too many enquiries.

The six month rule

When it comes to credit enquiries, the major lenders prefer if you only have one or two enquiries in the last six months, any more than this then it is likely for the banks to decline your mortgage.

However, there are some lenders who are stricter and will ask for explanations for all the enquiries that you have made in the last two years.

In this case it would depend on the reasons that you provide to the banks to determine whether your loan application will be accepted for finance approval or not.

Please call us on 1300 889 743 or enquire online to find out which lenders take a lenient approach to your credit file activity.

How do you get credit enquiries?

Credit enquiries are saved against your credit file each time a bank or credit provider accesses your file.

In most cases this is when you apply for a loan. However it can include:

  • Loans such as mortgages, personal loans or car loans.
  • Credit facilities such as credit cards or store cards.
  • Interest free finance for white goods or furniture.
  • Utilities such as electricity or gas.
  • Telecommunication services such as a mobile phone or broadband contract.

What will not create an enquiry?

Some activities will not cause an enquiry to be lodged on your credit file:

  • Switching loan types (e.g. variable to a fixed rate).
  • Buying a prepaid mobile phone.
  • Closing an existing loan or credit card.
  • Opening a bank account.
  • Opening a visa debit card.

None of these activities will cause a credit enquiry as you are not actually applying for credit. For example a prepaid mobile phone is paid in advance, so it is not a credit facility.

Multiple enquiries for one application

Does your credit file show multiple enquiries even though you only made one application?

This is a common problem and is being addressed by Equifax with upgrades to their database. The main causes are:

  • Amending the loan amount on an application in progress.
  • A preapproval converting into a full application.
  • Errors in the bank’s processing systems.

However, this problem may damage your credit score! If you are one of our customers just let us know and as a subscriber of Equifax /Veda, we can sort this problem out for you.

Are too few enquiries a problem?

Actually yes! However, it is usually only a serious problem for people who have never applied for credit before.

If you have never applied for a loan before then you have no credit file. The first time you apply for a loan your credit file will be created.

If you are in this situation then you can apply for a credit card with a small limit and then use this to prove yourself as a credit worthy borrower. Later you can apply for other types of credit.

However, if you have applied for credit before and you have not applied for credit within the last five years then you are unlikely to be seen as a high risk borrower.

What is my shopping pattern?

This is an industry term given to the types of credit that you apply for and the frequency with which you apply.

For example, someone who has applied for six credit cards all at the same time will be seen as a high risk borrower.

Whereas someone who has applied for a mortgage three years ago and then another mortgage again last month will be seen as a low risk borrower with a good shopping pattern.

Payday lenders are seen as the highest risk type of enquiry.

How long do enquiries stay on your credit file?

Credit enquiries will remain on your file for five years from the date that they were lodged.

However we find they do not have a large effect on your credit file after twelve months have passed.

What information do enquiries contain?

The following details are stored on your file for each credit enquiry and can be accessed by future institutions that check your credit file.

  • The name of the lender / company / institution.
  • The loan reference number / case number.
  • The principal, co-borrower or guarantor (the type of applicant you were).
  • The loan amount.
  • The type of credit (e.g. real estate mortgage, car loan, credit card etc.).

How can I get a home loan if I have too many enquiries?

If you have applied for just one or two credit facilities within the last six months then your next loan may be declined. This is because banks perceive people as “credit junkies” if they have made too many recent enquiries.

Luckily enough there are specialist lenders that can get your application approved despite having made too many enquiries. However you will need to provide an explanation to the banks regarding the reason behind each enquiry and they will assess your loan accordingly.

Please call us on 1300 889 743 or enquire online and one of our mortgage brokers will check your credit score and see if you can get approved.

  • LeoT

    I’ve applied for 3 loans with my bank for business purposes recently. Now, I’m applying for a home loan, will the 6-month rule apply to me ? Will they decline my mortgage application due to this?

  • Hi Leo,

    When it comes to credit enquiries, the major lenders prefer if you only have one or two enquiries in the last six months. In this case it would depend on the reasons that you provide to the bank whether your loan application will be accepted for finance approval or not.

  • satish maragani

    Hi there.. in the last 2-3 months, i have like 8 credit enquiries and none of the defaults or debt payments.. so how long does it take to improve my credit score

  • Hi Satish,
    I’d say in approx 12 months your credit score will be higher. Not changing address, jobs or applying for more credit will help to improve your score.
    Note that we have some lenders that don’t credit score for a home loan. If you were just shopping around for a personal loan or credit card we can likely get you approved. If you have a lot of unsecured debts then you may not qualify. We’d have to look at your full situation to be sure.

  • Max

    I bank with ANZ and I applied for a new credit card with them online.
    The website was malfunctioning and every time I got to the end and submitted the application it returned an error.
    I did this 4 time and the kast time it returned a “declined” response.
    I rung ANZ and I was told that all 4 application were declined because I submitted too many.
    They however approved my application on the phone for the new credit card.
    I asked about the credit file and was told to contact VEDA. At VEDA they rold me I need to check my credit online and then askvthem to correct it.
    I chhecked the online form and they ask a really huge amount of personal details (a lot more than the credit card application) that I am not comfortable disclosing.
    Can you please advise. How bad are 4 declined applications and how long wi be affecting my credit rating
    Thank you

  • Hi Max,
    Yes the 4 enquiries from ANZ would negatively affect your credit file. You need to lodge a formal complaint with ANZ and ask them to remove the extra enquiries. There should only be one enquiry from ANZ.
    If only one ANZ enquiry shows on your credit file then that is ok. You might also like to read this page on improving your credit score https://www.homeloanexperts.com.au/credit-score-home-loan/improve-my-credit-score/

  • Max

    Thank you for your quick replay.
    ANZ is telling me to contact VEDA.
    VEDA tells me to get the credit report, but to get that they ask a lot of personal details.
    Are you saying that ANZ should fix the probkem?

  • Get the credit report first. It’s ok to answer those personal questions.
    Once you have the report you can see if ANZ has 4 enquiries on your file or just 1.
    Then complain to ANZ as Veda cannot fix your file on their behalf. ANZ must fix it.

  • tugboat

    I need a 95% loan to buy a house in a Cat 3 location. I would like to use rent as genuine savings and personal loan as deposit but I think I already have 2-3 enquiries lodged on my credit file. Help!

  • Hi tugboat,

    The borrowed deposit may not be acceptable to all lenders so you’ll need to apply with the right lender that can be flexible for your situation. The enquiries can mean that you may likely fail credit scoring so we have a few other lenders in mind that may be able to help. Note that it may be better to go for a slightly lower LVR at 90% if you can come up with the funds. Please call 1300 889 743 to discuss.

  • jill

    I made an enquiry with a bank about a loan but they declined because I’m discharged bankrupt. I can get a guarantor though! Can’t you help in any way?

  • Hey jill, you may need to change your situation a bit so it can be easier to qualify. This means buying an existing property instead or building, getting parents to cash out equity available to help purchase the property and maybe a personal loan to cover the deposit if you can service it. A parent assist loan can also be an option. Please discuss all this with one of our experts by calling 1300 889 743 to find out your options.

  • Phone man

    Hi. Would it be an issue if I had 12 credit enquiries, which are all from 2012 and 2013, to get a mortgage? I have not made an enquiry ever since and no defaults or anything. I just have a car loan which I am going to pay off this month. Thanks for your help.

  • Hi Phone Man,
    If all 12 enquiries were for phones I’ll be very impressed at your tenacity in dealing with our telcos :)
    I’d say you would be fine. We can do a Veda check which is a view only report so it doesn’t affect your credit file. Once we know your VedaScore then we can see what lenders you qualify for. I’d say you’d be fine with most lenders.
    Feel free to contact us if you’d like some help https://www.homeloanexperts.com.au/free-quote/

  • Simran

    Hi i have 4 enquiries on my credit file in last 3 months I need a personal loan i can get approved for loan?

  • Franz

    Hello HLE

    Is it normal for two credit inquiries to appear on my credit report; 1 for loan application and another one for employment details?


  • Hi Franz,
    There should just be one. Unless your loan was a double deal (e.g. land and construction loan).
    However your employment details are updated based on what was in your application.

  • Erin Kemmis

    I’d like to check my credit history by obtaining a credit report, which I understand can be obtained for free once per year.
    ASIC lists three agencies (one of which is you) that they recommend you obtain your credit report with as you ‘may have a report with more than one agency’.
    Why would the three reporting agencies have different information? How should you select which one to obtain your ‘free’ report from?
    What reason would you need to check your credit report with all three agencies? And lastly, If you need to pay to obtain a report from the two agencies so that you have all the information on your credit history, how does ASIC justify its claims that ‘you have the right to find out what’s in your credit report’, then recommend you check with 3 agencies but only allow one free report per year?
    I am baffled!

  • Hi Erin,
    The two main ones are Equifax (previously Veda) and Dun & Bradstreet. We’re a mortgage broker and so we can check your credit file but we don’t hold a credit file on you.
    Best to get the report from Equifax and yes they can provide you a copy for free. Likely D&B contains the same info so no need to check it.

  • Erin Kemmis

    Great, thanks so much :)

  • Sgt Jeff

    I have 10 credit enquiries from 2012 and one in 2014 for an auto which has been paid off. Enough deposit and good salary. Applied through my bank of 20 years and was declined. Bad credit they said!

  • Hi Jeff
    We can likely help by going with a lender who doesn’t credit score. If you’re after a home loan then give us a buzz.

  • Shan

    I have about 17 credit enquiries as below:
    2016 – 5 enquiries the last one in 08/2016
    2015 – 5 enquiries
    2014 – 5 enquiries with 4 for $0
    2013 – 2 enquiries both for $0

    How would this affect a home loan application late this year i.e. after 08/2017.

  • Hi Shan
    This would negatively impact your credit score. Depending on your VedaScore it may be best to go with a lender that doesn’t use credit scoring.

  • Shan

    But what about the 6 month rule ?
    Surely that will be good as no enquiries in last 8 months or so.

  • It’s not quite that simple. We’d need to see your credit file and vedascore (equifax score) to confirm which lenders would help

  • Shan

    I get a score of 585
    What does that mean ?

  • 585 is average. Ideally you’d want 650 or above to be sure you’d qualify.
    Scores of approx 550 tend to get approved of declined based on the overall strength of the application. This calculator can help you work out if you’re likely to qualify https://www.homeloanexperts.com.au/mortgage-calculators/credit-score-calculator/

  • Catdog

    Hi I have 5 credit inquiries in the past 5 years 3 of which were in Jan, jul an august this year an a default that is due to come of in nov this year. My partner an I are wanting to get a house loan at the end of the year how will it affect our application? I have check my credit file an it’s 534

  • Hi Catdog
    We’d need to complete a full assessment to work out how you would be assessed.
    If you don’t mind me asking:
    – How much was the default, what was it for and when was it paid?
    – What % of the property value are you looking to borrow?

  • Catdog

    The amount was just over 3k for a credit card an it was paid out the start of dec last year. An looking at borrowing 95% of 250k

  • You can likely borrow 95% including LMI now (approx 91% after LMI) however the rate would be high.
    I’d recommend that you wait until the default is gone and then we can help you to get approved that way you get a great rate. It isn’t too long so this shouldn’t be a problem.

  • johnson cory

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  • Michael Jones

    Hey wondering if File access has any affect on your credit score?

  • Hi Michael,
    You accessing your own credit file does not affect your credit score. I’d recommend that you fix up any inaccurate info as this can slightly lower your credit file. To do this you need to contact the credit provider who provided the incorrect information.

  • Christopher Gnassingbe

    Upper class, middle class or lower class. The point remains the fact that we all are enslaved into this modern days slavery of eternal debts by the government, credit bureaus and many creditor agency. I’ll be forever grateful to headswayscore1 at tutamail dot com for seeing me through my credit debts and many inquiries off my report. Get in touch with Andrew for help fixing your credit report on headswayscore1 at tutamail dot com

  • Michelle

    I didn’t know that banks take credit enquiries as a serious issue. Actually, I’ve been shopping around for a while for credit cards and personal loan. My home loan application just got knocked down and they said it was due to multiple enquiries. What is the maximum number of credit enquiries acceptable to a bank?

  • Hi Michelle,
    Banks can access all the loans that you have applied for in the last five years. Credit enquiries are a record left on your credit file showing that you applied for credit. This credit file is held by credit reporting agency Veda https://www.homeloanexperts.com.au/blog/credit-score/vedascore-to-improve-credit-file-information/ , which is now acquired by Equifax.
    If you have applied for just one or two credit facilities within the last six months then your next loan may be declined. This is because banks perceive people as “credit junkies” if they have made too many recent enquiries. Luckily, we have specialist lenders that can get your application approved despite having made too many enquiries. Please call us on 1300 889 743 or enquire online https://www.homeloanexperts.com.au/free-quote/ and one of our mortgage brokers will check your credit score and see if you can get approved.

  • Rach

    My credit score from Equifax and dun & bradstree are so different

    Equifax it’s 653
    Dun and Bradstreet it’s 495

    Why the massive difference
    I have a few credit card enquires from 2014-2016
    And some telecommunications enquires when I shopped around for the best phone and internet services.
    Looking to buy a unit at the end of this year. Single person so single income.

  • Hi Rach
    Equifax and D&B have different credit scores and they mean different things. So I wouldn’t be too concerned. a 653 Equifax Score is quite good and means you should qualify with most lenders assuming everything else in your situation is ok. A D&B have several scores and most are between 1000 and 2000 for businesses, we aren’t familiar with their consumer scores as few lenders use D&B’s consumer scores.
    In other words you should be fine. If you’d like us to complete a ‘prepare to buy’ assessment we can do this for free. This is where we assess your situation and let you know what you may need to change now so that you can qualify with more lenders in the future. I’ll email you and cc our Prepare To Buy team.

  • Tim R

    Hi H.L.E.
    My Equifax file is clear but Dun and Bradstreet and Experian have 2 of the same defaults on them from A.C.M..Do many lenders use D@B or Experian???
    Tim R.

  • Hi Tim,
    Not many lenders use D&B. It’s rare that this is an issue. D&B is more commonly used for business debts from what we can see.
    Also note that it could be that your commercial file with Equifax has the defaults but your Consumer file does not. Sometimes when someone does a credit check they don’t check both by mistake. Lenders always check both.

  • Tim R

    I used to have 2 defaults on my Equifax (veda) but it’s longer than 5 years and they came off last year…Then I noticed ACM had listed them on D@B and Experian..I’ve never heard of Experian….
    P.S.Thankyou for the prompt response…

  • Hi Tim,
    If you’re applying for a home loan then please call us on 1300889743 and ask for Shaba. She can check with the lenders if they are using D&B or Experian before we apply via our own contacts.

  • Tim R

    Excellent, I will do..Thankyou so much…

  • Eric

    I lost my driving liscense last year, I have a lot of credit enquiries on my credit report as a result of ID theft, none of the enquiries are made by myself, how can I explain to the banks about my situation, what documents are needed?

  • Hi Eric,
    You firstly need to inform Equifax that you’ve had this problem and seek their advice on how to resolve it. It’s best to contact each company that has put an enquiry on your credit file and request them to remove it given that this was not from you. It’s a lot of work to do this but it’s what’s needed to clean up your credit file.
    If you’re applying for a home loan and you have a good savings history (min 5% of the purchase price) then we may be able to get a bank to assist you despite the issues with your credit history.

  • Eden

    I want to find out if the application is disclosed to a bank, does it then tell the bank which credit cards or Personal loans have been accepted, drawn down and the balance of the credit card or personal loan?
    Or does it only tell the bank that the card or loan had been an application

  • Hi Eden,
    Right now your credit file shows which loans you have applied for and for some loans it shows which are still open. In a few months it will show all loans and credit cards that are currently open.
    It’s best just to tell the truth and then you have no issues.

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    Q U A D H A C K E D @ G M A I L . CO M .

  • Hi Raichu,
    If you have multiple enquiries on your credit file then the lenders will see you as a high-risk borrower. They are wary that you may have been declined by all of the other banks, and they wonder what the others know about you that they don’t! Fortunately, the good news is that some lenders have low credit score home loans for Australians that have too many enquiries.

    You can gather more info here about it here: https://www.homeloanexperts.com.au/credit-score-home-loan/no-credit-score-home-loan/. Call us on 1300 889 743 or enquire online to find out which lenders take a lenient approach to your credit file activity.

  • Sophie

    I’ve just been informed that over the last 2 years I’ve had 18 credit enquiries. I was a bit shocked to find out that, but I’m also really starting to worry as my partner and I are looking at saving and buying a house in the next 2 maybe 2 and a half years. Would we have a problem getting a home loan around then? I would not be making anymore enquiries between now and then.

  • Hi Sophie,
    As they will be old enquiries this will likely be fine. I’d recommend that you make all your repayments on time every time until you buy as this data outweighs the enquiry data. Also a history of savings really counts a lot as well.

  • Sam

    How much higher is the interest with a lender who lends you money without taking credit score into consideration?
    I have
    Jan 2017 – 7 enquires (70k total) – But have letters from each banking institutions explaining I have no credit or ever have credit with them
    December 2017 – 4 enquires – From a Mortgage Broker applying for my Mortgage and struggling to understand why its getting pushed back.

    Large deposit – Good salary – No Debt – But “enquiries’ have killed me.


  • Hi Sam
    Yes we can help with this. We have several lenders that don’t credit score or that can consider multiple credit enquiries.
    The rate would depend on how much you are borrowing and if you are borrowing below 80% of the property value, below 90% or above 90%. As a general rule up to 90% of the property value we can get you a fantastic interest rate with a reputable lender and above 90% it’s usually a more expensive lender. If you’re with a specialist lender which is more expensive then we can refinance once you have paid the loan down a bit so it isn’t a high rate for the full 30 years.
    We’d need to review your bank statements to confirm which debts you actually have and do not have due to the number of enquiries.

  • Sam

    I have a 17% deposit for the property im after. Need approval… please contact me via email to discuss the lenders you recommend

  • Hi Sam
    No problem I’ll email you and cc one of our mortgage brokers.

  • Raymar

    Hi, I am looking to buy a land and house package. I’ve applied for pre-approval with 2 banks in the last 6 months. They both have expired. I’m planning to apply for a new application with another bank. Will it affect my credit score?

  • Hi Raymar,
    No, it won’t necessarily affect your credit score. Compared to credit cards, personal loans or car loans, having one or even two pre-approval enquiries on your credit file within 12 or even six months won’t affect your credit score too much. In some cases, it may also improve your credit score, mainly if you’ve never had any enquiries on your credit file before. Call us on 1300 889 743 or complete our free assessment form https://www.homeloanexperts.com.au/free-quote/ to speak with one of our brokers about your home loan enquiry

  • Marshall

    Hi, before I fill up your enquiry form, I want to know whether this will show up on my credit file as an enquiry?

  • Hi Marshall,
    No, our enquiry form is only there for an internal assessment to be used by our mortgage brokers. It will not show up as an enquiry on your credit file. It will only show up on your credit file as a credit enquiry after we submit your home loan application with a lender officially, that is if you decide to go forward with the loan.

  • Jackson Johnson

    Hi, I’m looking me and my partner are looking to buy a house within 2-3years, however I have had multiple credit enquiries (15 in total) over the last 2 years most of them are more than a year old maybe 3-4are from this year, I’m just wondering will this affect my chances of getting a good interest rate or even getting approved at all?

    What would be some good options for us to make sure we have a better chance?

  • Hi Jackson,

    If you’re looking to buy a house in the next 2-3 years, these credit enquiries should not be a big factor in either your loan approval or your interest rate. Typically, enquiries do not have a big effect after 12 months have passed. I would suggest you keep your credit enquiries to two or less for six months prior to applying for a mortgage.

    In order to qualify for the most competitive rates, save up a bigger deposit than the minimum required as this will give you more lender options, thus a better rate. If borrowing power is an issue for you, reducing your credit card limit can significantly improve it.