What happens when I apply for an Interest Free Credit loan?


When you make an application for credit, we’ll send your application to one of the Finance Providers that we work alongside, in order for them to assess your application. If you are approved with the Finance Provider, they’ll register a ‘credit search’ (sometimes referred to as a ‘hard search’) on your credit file. This search will be visible to others, such as yourself, the Finance Provider, and other firms that you allow to view it. The search is registered with a Credit Reference Agency. If you are not approved with the Finance Provider who’s considered your application, we’ll ask other Finance Providers that we work with, to check your eligibility, and send your application to them.

These Finance Providers will perform an ‘eligibility search’ (sometimes referred to as a ‘soft search’), and if any of them tell us that you are eligible for the loan, we’ll automatically ask one of them to proceed, at which point they’ll register a ‘credit check’ on your credit file. An ‘eligibility check’ does not impact your credit score, and that’s why our Finance Providers use it to check eligibility before we ask them to proceed. However, in some rare cases, Finance Providers may go on to complete a ‘credit search’ and may then decide to decline your application at this stage. In the event that you are declined by all of the Finance Providers in the lending panel, we’ll make you aware of this.

Why do DFS use a panel of Finance Providers, and not just one?


We use a panel of Finance Providers for a number of reasons. Firstly, we do this in order to help ensure that we always have Finance Providers available to lend to our customers. As our Interest Free Credit offering is exactly that (Interest Free), a large percentage of our customers decide to consider it and so it’s important for us to have more than one lending partner.

We also use a panel of Finance Providers in order to ensure that our customers who are applying for a loan have better access to a wider credit market when compared to if we only used one Finance Provider.

Who are the Finance Providers that DFS work with?


We work with 4 Finance Providers in total and carefully consider who they are to help ensure their values and practices meet our own high standards. They are:

  • Creation Consumer Finance Ltd
  • etika finance UK Limited
  • Hitachi Capital Plc
  • V12 Retail Finance Limited

I’ve seen credit searches on my credit file to do with my DFS credit application?


You may see one or more searches on your credit file. These will not show as ‘DFS’ searches, but will show as searches from the Finance Providers we work with. Be sure to note the difference between an ‘eligibility search’/’eligibility check’ and a ‘credit search’. The eligibility ones won’t impact your credit rating, even if there are more than one of them.

A ‘credit search’ could have an impact on your credit rating. Whilst wherever possible, we do as much as we can to prevent multiple ‘credit searches’, in some cases you may find more than one ‘credit search’. If you believe you have searches on your credit file that are unfamiliar or unexpected please contact us using the details below.

Still have a question?


You can find out more in our Privacy Policy, here.

You can also contact us on 0333 9999777, or by email using [email protected] where we’d be happy to help.