Do you need help finding a credit card

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I came across an article in the Daily Mirror recommending the benefits of a credit card selector on Confused.com

The benefit is that you avoid a negative credit foot print by making unsuccessful applications for credit cards. Every application for credit is recorded with the credit agencies, and that affects your credit rating.

So the scheme allows you to check your eligibility for cards without making a formal application. Sounds very useful, but when you read the Terms and Conditions it becomes confusing.

If you are asked to provide your contact details and your annual earnings, ask who am I giving this information to, and for what purpose.

The terms tell you the information is handled by Callcredit Limited, described as a UK consumer credit reference agency. “A credit reference agency collects and stores details about you and your personal credit history. Lenders, including banks, building societies and other financial service providers, share credit information about their customers with us. The information we receive is used to create your credit report. “

From there the Terms and Conditions say that by selecting “‘Next’, you are instructing us to provide your credit report to HD Decisions Ltd (“HD”). HD has been appointed as a processing agent for Confused.com and a number of credit card providers. HD will (on behalf of such credit providers) analyse key elements of your credit file, in order to determine your current financial standing. The analysis of your credit file will be used by HD to identify and rank credit card offers in order of appropriateness for your circumstances (but this does not necessarily guarantee that there will be appropriate credit card offers available to you). This ranked list of offers will then be displayed on the next page. You will then have the opportunity to apply for a credit card directly with the credit card company should you choose to do so.”

Are you following this?

So what about the information you provide. How is it to be used and for what purpose. The next section is interesting, my reading being the term “us” means Callcredit Limited:

“You agree that the personal details you supply to us will be used for the purposes of:

a)verifying your identity in order to ensure that we are providing your credit report in accordance with your instructions;

b)providing services to our clients in which your personal details are used to assist with identity verification, prevention of fraud/money laundering, service delivery and process implementation;”

So to translate that, you are agreeing to a credit reference agency passing your details to another company called HD Decisions Ltd. You are also agreeing to the credit reference agency using your details to provide services to its clients which are listed as “Lenders, including banks, building societies and other financial service providers,” who it tells us ” share credit information about their customers with us. The information we receive is used to create your credit report.”

There is no information given about HD Decisions Ltd, and how they will hold or use the credit reference data they are to receive from Callcredit Limited.

I offer no opinion about all this, save to say the Terms and Conditions raise as many questions as they answer. I do not know what will happen here, but it is often the case that when you provide details, especially your earnings, and indicate you are looking for credit, you find yourself deluged with sales material. I saw no information about commission which might be paid by credit card companies either.

I repeat I am offering no opinion about any of the parties involved in what may be a very useful service.

Let me know how your application goes so others can benefit from your experience.