Blacklists: myth or reality

Posted by Josh Conibear in Personal Finance on 11 December 2013 - Josh worked as a Credit Analyst at checkmyfile until 2014

It has been a couple of years since we set out the facts about blacklists and asked you to judge for yourself, but once again the papers are full of reports about blacklists, spurred on by a study by consumer supremos Which?

With the ever growing scepticism of trusting both large corporations like banks, and governments too, together with reports that Big Brother really is watching you – following the revelations of Edward Snowden and others, there have been mounting concerns of whether 'the powers at be' have influence over your personal data.

Typically a blacklist is a database of disapproved people or addresses that are under suspicion or excluded from something. Down the pub, I hear that there are three main blacklists that can highly impair your ability to live life to the full, that of credit blacklists, address blacklists and occupational blacklists. So are these myth or reality? Let’s find out.

Credit Blacklists

If you have been turned down for credit, do not panic. Chances are that it’s the lender, not you. You’ve just chosen to apply to a tightwad.

Use our credit matching service to increase your chances exponentially. Check your credit report for surprises, speak to us if you have any doubts, but don’t assume that you’re on a credit blacklist.

Yes, lenders consult credit reference agencies, check compliance with their own lending policies (if you’re under 23, you can’t get credit from some and it is simply your age causing the grief, not a blacklist), and other information too, like the Sanctions List (check out the above link if you want to know more on this). If the Sanctions List isn’t a blacklist, then what is? But things like credit assessment processes just aren’t that simple. For the great majority of us, you are judged on your past performance when you apply for credit and not much more.

Address Blacklists

It's common to hear people suggest that an address can be blacklisted and you can be affected by someone else's bad debts or by fraud having been suspected to have been committed at your address.

In the latter respect, that was certainly something that happened historically, but we are assured it doesn’t happen now.

As to whether someone at your address affecting your ability to get credit, the stock answer is no they can’t. But, sorry to differ, but it is pantomime season and oh yes they can, if you are financially associated to that person by way of a joint account or even by way of a joint rental agreement for a TV.

How to find out? Just check your credit report and we’ll tell you if anyone is financially connected to you according to credit reference agency databases. The financial association continues until you remove it, so if it is no longer appropriate, we’ll tell you how to go about removing it.

Occupational Blacklists

Governments and corporations should not be actively sharing and compiling a blacklist of employees.

But in 2009 the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) carried out a raid on The Consulting Association (TCA) and found that the organisation was holding information on over 3,200 construction workers with details going back to the 1980s.

With the help of the police and even a trade union in one case, TCA’s business was selling the information to construction firms who wanted to weed out any bad eggs ¬– troublemakers, trade union rabble rousers, people who didn’t want their colleagues to get maimed in a horrifying industrial accident ¬– from their pool of employees.

Lives went awry and careers were ruined as qualified tradespeople found it difficult to get work. If that wasn't awful enough, the information used was sometimes inaccurate.

The consequences of blacklisting in this way would undoubtedly have been catastrophic for some workers in the trade, but it is important to remember that this was a one-off discovery.

Eight of the firms involved have set up a fund to compensate the workers, offering between £1,000 and £100,000.

Are Car Insurance Premiums Calculated Fairly?

Recently news stories have emerged alleging that a “John” might be more likely to get a cheaper car insurance quote than a “Mohammed”, and that someone with a Gmail account could be offered a lower premium than someone with a Hotmail email address.

Published on 12 Feb 2018 by Jamie Mackenzie Smith

Full Article

The Cost of Incorrect Information on Your Credit Report

Your credit file is compiled from a number of different sources, including payment history from each of your lenders (past and present) and public data as reported by local authorities and courts. The majority of people find that everything held about them is correct, but due to the large amount of information being shared, errors in the information reported can happen, which can lead to issues when you go to apply for credit.

Published on 2 Feb 2018 by Tom Blandford

Full Article

Your Guide to Open Banking

On 13 January, the UK banks embarked upon arguably one of the biggest changes to personal finances since the introduction of computers. Open Banking is aiming to make it easier for banks, lenders and consumers to access and share information, with a view to creating new products and opportunities through innovation and increased competition.

Published on 15 Jan 2018 by Jamie Mackenzie Smith

Full Article

HMRC Bans Credit Card Tax Payments

From 13 January 2018, it will no longer be possible for consumers to use a personal credit card to make a payment on HMRC’s Self-Assessment tax portal. Historically, this has been a popular option as it allows what is often a considerable sum to be deferred.

Published on 12 Jan 2018 by Tom Magor

Full Article

How to Get the Best Deal When Buying a New or Used Car

Buying a new car is both exciting and expensive, but if you know where to look and when, you can grab yourself a bargain. If you take a little time to look into finance or loan deals as well, you can bring down the overall costs significantly.

Published on 11 Jan 2018 by Kevin Pearce

Full Article

Are football clubs exploiting their fans

With Premier League teams under huge pressure to remain in the top flight of English football, the amount lavished on transfer fees and player wages have soared in recent years.

Published on 8 Jan 2018 by Sam Twyford

Full Article

What The 2017 Autumn Budget Means For First-Time Buyers

Wednesday’s autumn budget brought great news to would be first-time homeowners: if you’re buying a home up to the value of £300,000, you won’t have to pay stamp duty for the property. This, the Conservative Party estimate, will benefit 80% of first-time buyers, saving them potentially thousands of pounds on the total cost.

Published on 28 Nov 2017 by Jamie Mackenzie Smith

Full Article

Blacklists - Ten things you probably didn't know

1. Blacklists are not unlawful. No lender is compelled by law to give credit or to give any reason when declining credit. Each may consult several sources of information before making a decision, including any form of list that may exist. Any list containing personal data is automatically regulated by the Data Protection Act 1998.

Published on 9 Oct 2017 by Barry Stamp

Full Article

Is a credit building card a good idea

A credit building credit card is most often used by people that are either looking to improve their credit rating or take out their first credit card.

Published on 24 Mar 2017 by Kelly Luff

Full Article

Which Credit Report Information Can Landlords See

Whenever you rent a property, you will be required to pass some checks set by the landlord or letting agent to prove that you will be a good tenant and that you’ll be able to afford to rent the property.

Published on 7 Mar 2017 by Kevin Pearce

Full Article


We have loads of great customer reviews