Why did Post Of­fice re­ject me?

The Daily Telegraph - Your Money - - FRONT PAGE -

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”.

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