All Over The Road
Slowly but surely I am creating my web presence. I imagine it will take a lot of discipline to keep any blog up to date. And it probably takes a big ego to think that you have a something interesting to say every day. Well, let's hope I can find enough to keep talking - although talking to oneself is talent worth developing.
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Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Who You Vote For Affects Your Credit Rating

Who You Vote For Affects Your Credit Rating - 1 April 2008
Who You Vote For Affects Your Credit Rating

We survey users to find out how their applications went, so that we can
identify patterns and provide better guidance in our articles. We've
found that, of course, sometimes people don't get the loan they apply
for, or that the lender offers them a worse rate than the typical APR
that was shown.
analysing the data we've collated, it's clear that who you vote for
in elections affects whether you'll get a loan with a bank. If the bank
supports one political party through donations or other means, and you
vote for that party, you're more likely to get a loan. If you aren't a
known supporter, you're less likely to get the loan. If you're a known
supporter of a different party, you're even less likely.

Also, you're more likely to get the cheapest rates (the 'typical' APRs) if you support the same party as the bank!

What does this mean?

This has serious implications about data protection, amongst other things.

In two years of writing for this website, this is probably the most
astounding thing that I've written, and I've written about dreadful
pension scandals (A Pension Scandal Worse Than Maxwell)
and was the first personal finance writer to campaign about the
billions of pounds that banks have unlawfully, and knowingly, taken off
customers in penal charges.

How do banks get the information?

Our first step should be to establish how banks know which parties we support.

Other than by stealing ballot papers, the only way they could get this
data is either through our local councils, or by getting their hands on
party lists of members and donors. I suggest then that if you're
registered with your party, check its privacy policy. You may also want
to check with your Trade Union to see if they pass on information.
Finally, give your bank a call and ask them if they know who you
support, and if that affects the deals they offer you.

Anja Ritter of the highly-secretive Bankers' Guild unsurprisingly
denied our findings, despite their statistical significance. In a quick
chat, she told me:

'There is no reason for banks to do this. We don't care
who we lend to, so long as our customers repay their bills. We're happy
to continue charging all our customers and potential customers whatever
we want.'

I'm not entirely sure what she meant by that last bit! But I do find it difficult to establish why the banks are doing this.

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