Why did Post Office reject me?
I made an appointment with the local post office about taking out a Post Office credit card, which I wanted for trips abroad.
After a 45-minute telephone call and a credit check, the application was declined. I was furious, surprised and worried, as I had never had any financial card application turned down before.
I contacted Experian, which said I had a 999 credit score. I then went to a different provider and my husband and I were issued with a credit card without any difficulty.
Can you find out why this has happened? JULIA GERZON, DORSET
You went through the Post Office’s appeals procedure and a week later received a letter saying: “Unfortunately we are unable to offer you a credit card at present … we are aware that your circumstances may change, so please contact us again should you wish to apply in the future.”
You were told that the reason behind the rejection was commercially sensitive and were directed towards Experian, the credit reference agency, which could not identify why there had been a refusal. You wonder what the point was of the Post Office saying you can come back if things change, if you have no idea what changes it is referring to. You have a pension and an income from property and other assets, so the refusal was unexpected.
The Post Office said: “When considering an application for a credit card, we take into account a number of factors.
“These are based on the customer’s personal circumstances, including information the customer provides at application, our lending criteria, and information obtained from both credit reference and fraud prevention agencies.
“For customer data protection reasons, we are unable to give the specific detail of our decision.”
As well as relying on credit reference agencies, individual lenders have their own scoring system and criteria. It seems that the risk profile of this card may be less tolerant and narrower than some others.
The Standards of Lending Practice is a voluntary code for registered members. This said: “If the customer’s application is declined, the main reason for this will be provided, if requested by the customer.”
However, this can just be directing them towards a credit reference agency. Apart from the credit score, this will also show transaction information and other borrowing facilities.
You have been rationalising your finances and this is unusual activity for you, which involved moving money around and may have affected your credit files.
Since the rejection, you have cut down on borrowing facilities, such as unnecessary cards, in case this was an issue.
The Post Office is sorry you feel you have not had a high level of service.
Sadly, I cannot change things for you.
There is a pathfinder tool to give interactive guidance on credit refusal. See creditawarenessweek. com and look for “credit refusal pathfinder”.