If you’ve ever applied for a loan, credit card or insurance policy then there’s a good chance your details will have been checked against CIFAS markers. But what are they and why should you care? In this article, we’ll explain everything you need to know about CIFAS markers – what they are, how they work and why they could affect your chances of getting approved for credit in the future.
What are CIFA markers?
So, what is a CIFAS marker? In short, it’s a warning that’s placed on your credit file to alert lenders that you may be at risk of fraud. This could be because you’ve previously been a victim of identity theft, or because you’ve applied for multiple products in a short space of time (which could indicate that you’re in financial difficulty).
How do CIFA markers affect credit?
Having a CIFAS marker on your file doesn’t mean you’re automatically ineligible for credit, but it will make it harder to be approved. That’s because lenders will see the marker and assume that you’re a higher-risk customer, which means they’ll either refuse your application outright or offer you less favorable terms (like a higher interest rate).
Are CIFA markers permanent?
If you’re worried about a CIFAS marker on your file, the good news is that it’s not permanent. After a certain amount of time has passed (usually two to three years), the marker will be removed from your file and your credit score should start to improve.
In the meantime, there are still some options available to you if you need to borrow money. For example, some lenders offer “bad credit” products that are specifically designed for people with a poor credit history. These products usually come with higher interest rates and fees, but they can still be a useful way to access credit if you need it.
Of course, the best way to avoid having a CIFAS marker placed on your file in the first place is to be careful with your personal details. Be suspicious of any emails or phone calls from companies asking for your personal information, and never give out your details unless you’re absolutely sure you’re dealing with a legitimate organization.
How to check if your file has CIFA markers on it?
If you think you might already have a CIFAS marker on your file, there are a few ways to check. You can order a copy of your credit report from one of the main credit reference agencies (Experian, Equifax or Callcredit), or you can use a specialist service like ClearScore which will show you whether or not you have any markers on your file.
Once you know for sure, it’s important to take action to improve your credit score and make sure that the marker is removed as soon as possible. This will make it easier to be approved for credit in the future, and could save you money in the long run. For more information on Cifa markers, check out RichardsonLissack.