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Mowgli_Innit

Barclays have ruined my credit rating

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Hi there everyone.

 

This forum has become my one and only help with all matters financial. I've come to you for advice as to help my friends and loved ones before, but now I need help for me.

 

To explain, I've been with Barclays, the only bank that I've ever been with, for 15 months. I initially opened a basic cash card account, on account of not really having a credit rating at all. After 10 months, I applied for a student account, in preparation for starting university in September 2010. At the time, I briefly discussed the option of an overdraft for when I got to university. I was assured that it was a simple process. They gave me £200 on the spot, with the assurance that it could be further increased upon proof of enrolment.

 

Come the day of enrolment, I entered the bank with my enrolment letter. We went through all the formalities, I provided them with proof of my student loan coming in in late September and the branch were happy. I asked what a realistic figure to apply for was and they said, "Anything up to £2000, if you have the reasons for it." I explained that there was equipment required for my course and that, combined with living costs, I would like to secure £1600 to cover the costs. With hindsight, this may have been too much, but the branch thought it wasn't too big and was well justified. This, naturally, was declined, so we scaled down to £1000, again refused. It went back and forth for a couple of days and, during this time, I spoke to Customer Relations, who told me that they believe some transactions for William Hill Online (no more than £10 going out at a time and, overall, I'm up about £130) meant I was a risky profile. Naturally, I was fuming, as I hadn't spent Barclays' overdraft on this, I had spent MY own money, earned from MY job. Furthermore, she passed a moral judgement over the phone, saying, "If you wanted an overdraft, you shouldn't have bet online," chuckling whilst she said it. It seems that placing a few multipliers of £1 each a month on the football/tennis/horses was deemed a riskier venture than the people I know who have blown £500+ on clothes and fast food in their first week. The funny thing is, this factor has never been officially disclosed in the application procedure, but has been acknowledged by staff, vaguely.

 

Today I went to The Cooperative Bank's website, applying online for a student account. Within 2 hours, I was declined.

 

I was confused, as I didn't necessarily have a credit rating, certainly nothing bad and The Co-op couldn't access my transactions at Barclays, so the William Hill matter shouldn't come into it, I thought.

 

I went to Experian, typed in my info, paid the £5.95 for the credit score, reviewed my credit report and nothing stood out.

I don't have a blemish at all, everything paid on time (phone, etc) no CCJs (obviously) nothing at all that I thought could give a bad image of my, in a credit sense. I looked at my score and it sat at 497. Apparently, 68% of the country have a better rating. It said that because I had applied for credit more than three times in the past 6 months and I am not on the electoral roll for my current address, my score was being negatively affected.

 

Anyway, now I've explained my situation, I wanted to see if any of you could shed any light on the following:

 

Barclays' official stance is that they "do not believe that the overdraft would be used for course-relevant purchases," despite me pointing out exactly what I need and why and how much it will cost.

They also didn't properly read my application, citing, "No evidence of student loan," despite the application containing testimony that a branch worker had seen evidence of this.

Is their seeming lack of honesty and consistency something to chase them up on? Have they not handled the procedure correctly? Can I exploit this lack of competence and complain to any gain?

 

Secondly, I believe that my having to reapply every time I went in to talk about my overdraft extension at the branch is what has damaged my credit score, thus making it impossible to get an account elsewhere and having to stay with Barclays. This doesn't feel right. I don't know about it, but it doesn't even feel legal.

Is there something I can do about this? Is there some sort of recompense available for their procedures damaging my credit rating? Have I been poorly advised in branch? Is this their fault, or mine? I don't have a maintenance grant on top of my loan, which is £4990 for the year (living in London costs a lot more), I don't have parental contributions and I am now in the position that I can't buy the equipment I need for my course. I do directly attribute all of this to Barclays.

 

I really am lost, though, I don't even slightly know where to turn and wondered if anyone could help, if not with Barclays directly, then with a way of getting enough money to survive.

 

Thanks for reading, I realise it must be a LOOONG post...

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Hi Mowgli,

 

From what you've written, I think your priority must be to get the banking facilities that you need.

 

Ideally, this will be with Barclays where you already have an a/c. You've been refused an a/c elsewhere and, each time you apply at another bank, it will show as a further credit record search, which isn't helping. I would go back into your branch and explain that the o/draft refusal is putting your whole course in jeopardy. Explain that the betting spend was minimal and, if it would help at all, you'll spend no more with William Hill.

 

Barclays' official stance is that they "do not believe that the overdraft would be used for course-relevant purchases,"
Did you get this in writing or by phone.

 

Is there someone at your college or uni (Student Rep, Admin ?) who can suggest any other banking options, or provide any proof of what you need for your course.

 

I doubt you'll get very far seeking any compensation for Barclays actions so far. They'll say they have considered your request and have refused it based upon their confidential lending criteria.

 

8-)


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Hi Slick, thanks for your reply.

 

I'm going to go and speak to the bank manager. I had sort of come to terms with the idea that I'll just have to try and find a way to get around maybe have to work more hours at a job...

 

THEN, all of a sudden, I received a letter from Barclaycard, telling me how easy it is to get credit. They made me a personalised offer of a credit card with a maximum of £2000 credit limit, at a rate of 29.9% APR. Brilliant! Now I can go and buy my apparently non-course related equipment on their credit, after all! But, wait, isn't it the case that I am, in fact, not a safe bet with credit..? How come they've made me an offer? That's right, the 29.9% APR, which, through my initial application stating that I needed roughly £1400 for the equipment, they must work out at about £475 per annum, about £40 a month.

I just don't see how this works out. Surely this is trying to lure me into a scheme of impossible payments? This is a little unethical, no? I just don't get how that is fair and responsible practice. I wanted an overdraft in order to pay for course-related equipment, knowing that I could work it off over Christmas/Summer and I'd have thought that was reasonable. My credit rating apparently negated my application. But my credit rating is now ok for me to get credit at an unrealistically high interest? Smells fishy to me, but what do I know?

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Hi Mowgli,

 

This is utterly mad, I agree.

 

Try your best at your branch, and don't be fobbed off with a junior staff member - insist on seeing your manager as you need to speak to someone with a bit of discretion who can help you.

 

8-)


We could do with some help from you

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EVERY POUND DONATED WILL HELP US TO KEEP HELPING OTHERS

 

                                            Have we helped you ...?  Please Donate button to the Consumer Action Group

 

Please give something if you can. We all give our time free of charge but the site has bills to pay.

 

Thanks !:-)

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