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I fear rejection if I reapply for my John Lewis credit card | Consumer affairs

I have had a John Lewis card since the 1980s – first when it was a store card and then, when it changed, a credit card.

It is my go-to method of payment, both in and out of store, and I pay off the entire balance every month. I’ve been doing so for the past 40 years.

But, as a result of the company changing its lender, it is asking holders to reapply and I’m concerned my application will be turned down.

My sister-in-law, who is retired and a longtime card holder, was rejected and the Trustpilot site is full of horror stories about applications being turned down, or spending limits cut.

Last year, I gave up a job with a six-figure income, sold my home and moved out of London. I am two years below state pension age, but have ordered my finances so my spending power is greater than my thirtysomething daughters.

If I apply, and am rejected, will it affect my credit rating?

TM, Eastbourne

Your letter is one of a number from John Lewis card holders who have encountered problems as it switches lender from HSBC to NewDay – a process that requires customers to reapply and submit to a credit check.

You were so concerned a failed application would lower your credit score you have decided not to apply.

However, it would have been fine to go through the initial eligibility check which would have told you the likely outcome of the application. It involves a “soft search” and would not have had an impact on your credit score.

If you passed this hurdle, and proceeded to the full application, at this point a “hard search” would show up on your credit file.

John Lewis says NewDay has a regulatory obligation to assess each customer’s creditworthiness and says 96% of those who have applied to date have been accepted.

Social media and press reports tell a different story as previously high-spending customers rage at being turned down or given tiny spending limits.

Other readers were angry that applications are online and require a mobile phone for security purposes. They also question the decision to stop accepting payment by cheque or over the counter.

John Lewis says using a mobile for authentication purposes protects customers from fraud, and the decision to stop accepting the other payment methods is because of a lack of demand.

We welcome letters but cannot answer individually. Email us at consumer.champions@theguardian.com or write to Consumer Champions, Money, the Guardian, 90 York Way, London N1 9GU. Please include a daytime phone number. Submission and publication of all letters is subject to our terms and conditions

SOURCE: https://www.theguardian.com/money/2022/sep/19/i-fear-rejection-if-i-reapply-for-my-john-lewis-credit-card

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