Credit Reference Agencies
When do we share data with Credit Reference Agencies?
When you apply for a credit product from the Sainsbury’s Group (e.g., a Sainsbury’s Bank loan, or credit card, or an Argos store card), we may perform credit reporting and identity checks on you with one or more of the main credit reference agencies – Experian, Equifax and TransUnion (the “Credit Reference Agencies”). We also run checks with the Credit Reference Agencies periodically to help us manage our relationship with you which may include for purposes of credit limit adjustments and card reissue.
Why do we share data with Credit Reference Agencies?
The Credit Reference Agencies provide us with information about you which helps us to understand your credit-worthiness – how easily you will find it to repay credit to us. This may include information about your financial history, salary, current financial situation, and shared credit. These activities are essential in helping promote responsible lending, prevent people and businesses from getting into more debt than they can afford, and reduce the amount of unrecoverable debt and insolvencies.
We share your personal information to check the accuracy of the information you provide us, trace and recover debts; and to help prevent fraud, money laundering and criminal activity. We also periodically share information with the Credit Reference Agencies about how you are using your Sainsbury’s or Argos credit product so that they can keep the records they hold about you accurate and up to date. This information reveals how you pay back your loans and credit card debts. If you fail to pay back your loan or credit card in full or on time, we will inform the Credit Reference Agencies who will record this as an outstanding debt. This can be viewed by other organisations.
Join Accounts and Credit Reference Agencies
If you make an application for one of our credit products with another person (e.g., a spouse or partner) (a “joint application”), we will search for information about both of you with the Credit References Agencies, and both us and the Credit References Agencies will link your records together.
Your records will stay linked with the Credit References Agencies until either you or the other account holder requests that the files are no longer linked. If one account holder’s credit score is negatively affected (e.g., by skipping payments or making payments late) while these records are linked, this will have a negative impact on the other account holder’s credit score and ability to obtain further credit with us and/or other organisations.
It is important that both account holders understand the implications of being linked in this way before you make an application. Read the paragraph Joint Accounts/Additional Card Holders below for more information about how we use this personal information.
Contacting the Credit Reference Agencies
The three main Credit Reference Agencies are TransUnion, Equifax and Experian.
Each of the Credit Reference Agencies have signed up to a joint policy (“CRAIN”) which explains how these agencies use and shares personal data they receive about you and/or your business that is part of or derived from or used in credit activity.
You can find out more about how these Credit Reference Agencies collect, use and share personal information they hold about you, and what your rights are in relation to that information at the websites below: