Does Klarna do a credit check?

Wondering if Klarna does a credit check on you?

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I'm Steph, mum of three! 👋
Here, I share practical insights on making (and saving!) money. With a knack for budgeting and a passion for financial freedom, I've picked up lots of tips & tricks along the way. And I can't wait to share them with you here!

If you’re reading this post, you’re likely considering using Klarna but wanting to know the effect on your credit report.

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Klarna credit check UK

So does Klarna do a credit check? Well, the answer is yes…but Klarna say the credit check they carry out when you apply for most of their products is what’s known as a soft search.

We don’t think anyone should be financing things like clothes. But 80 million people are using Klarna…so if you’re going to use it, at least make sure you know what you’re getting into!

If you’re already in debt and want to get out, see how we did it here!

What this means in practice is that although they check your credit score to see if you’re eligible for credit, the credit search they do doesn’t leave a ‘footprint’ on your credit record. In other words, other lenders won’t be able to see that Klarna have checked your record.

Does klarna do a hard credit check?

Be aware, Klarnas ‘Financing‘ product very much does do a hard search on your credit file (source).

When lenders credit checking you see several applications, or ‘hard searches’, on your credit file it can be a warning to them that you’re either not handling the credit you have very well, or that you may be over stretching yourself financially and this is a red flag to them, so they might decline your application because of it.

Want to see what Klarna has recorded on your credit file?

Check my file shows your file from all 3 UK credit reference agencies, for FREE!

Soft searches don’t leave the same mark, so in theory, your credit score will not be affected.

Does this mean that everyone should rush out and use Klarna to finance items? Absolutely not. Financing, no matter the method you choose to use is still financing, however it’s wrapped up.

Buying anything on finance (perhaps bar a home!) is very often a flag that you can’t afford to buy the item, so therefore probably shouldn’t be getting it.

However, the fact of it is that Klarna has over 80 million users globally, so like it or not, people are using it.

As always, if you’ve already decided to finance a purchase and nothing we say can change your mind, then make sure you know what you’re getting into and get the best deal, which hopefully, is a 0% interest deal.

Klarna offer a range of finance products, the most popular in the UK being the ‘Pay 30 days later’ and ‘Pay later’.

According to Klarna, neither of these products conduct a ‘hard search’ on your credit record, only the soft search we talked about earlier (source).

You might have seen reports in the press about customers of Klarna reporting their credit records have been negatively impacted by using Klarna.

In response to these reports, Klarna remain adamant that they don’t record hard searches in credit reference agencies for either of these finance products (source). The problems seem to arise when payments are missed.

There have been reports that when this happens and a payment is made late, customers haven’t been aware that this is when their credit record might be negatively impacted.

And to be honest, having looked at the adverts for Klarna, it’s not clear at all to me that this is a consequence of a late payment.


Whilst Klarnas most popular products, ‘Pay 30 days later’ and ‘Pay later’ won’t leave a mark that they’ve searched your credit file when you apply for credit, missing payments under these finance schemes could seriously end up messing up your credit report.

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