Credit checks in France

Sextant discusses the positives of having no credit check in France

A credit check is an action taken by a lender to determine if a person is creditworthy. A credit check entails seeking a detailed analysis from a credit reporting bureau or agency. The report usually contains basic pieces of information such as the date of birth, the NI number, the address, employment history, current employer and income, and payment history (from mortgages, loans and other debts), all shown as a ‘score’. Your score is calculated in order to check the level of risk you represent to a lender.

When a credit check is conducted, payment history is documented through items reported by creditors to credit bureaus, such as timely payments – or lack thereof. If a credit check shows a person to be a poor risk for repaying debt, the mortgage/loan or charge card may be refused.

This term of credit check is frequently used in English speaking countries and may correspond to different situations.

In France, the Bank of France maintains files which are only available to financial institutions holding a licence delivered by the Bank of France.

The files only relate to a person if they have written bad checks, have participated in fraudulent activities, have been declared bankrupt or have bounced checks in France.

If an individual has had problems with their credit rating in the UK or elsewhere in the world, it will not affect their application in France, as it will not show up.

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In the UK, any time you apply for a credit card, or attempt to obtain credit for a purchase of a car or house, the lender will perform a credit check. This will affect your credit score, and you may not receive the loan or mortgage if your credit score is low.

However, if you apply for a credit or mortgage in France, all you will have to provide is your last 3-month bank statements and the last 3 month pay slips (or last 3 year tax returns). It is that simple. There is no credit report or score for you to worry about.

In fact, when you open a French account, lenders can’t see your English credit report when they decide whether to give you a loan, mortgage or credit card. Therefore, you don’t need to check it regularly to ensure it is up to date and reflects your credit track record accurately. No credit check means you can get the best deals available!

What you have to remember is that Great Britain and France both have their own data bank systems and don’t share information. So if you had problems with your English bank account (e.g. overdraft) which was over 3 months ago, it would not affect your French mortgage application.

Another positive advantage with taking out a French mortgage is if one French bank declines your mortgage application, you could apply with another French bank! Since there is no credit report in France, the banks do not know where you have applied.

Additionally, it will not affect your UK credit score.

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