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Important Data Protection

The following questions and answers will help you understand the way in which Magellan Homeloans uses the services provided by credit reference and fraud prevention agencies and manages your personal data

Q: What is a credit reference agency?

A: Credit reference agencies (CRAs) collect and maintain information on consumers' and businesses' credit behaviour, on behalf of organisations in the UK.

Q: What is a fraud prevention agency?

A: Fraud Prevention Agencies (FPAs) collect, maintain and share, information on known and suspected fraudulent activity. Some CRAs also act as FPAs.

Q: Why do you use them when I have applied to your organisation?

A: Although you have applied to Magellan Homeloans and we will check our own records. We will also contact CRAs to get information on your credit behaviour with other organisations and FPAs to prevent fraud and money-laundering and to verify your identity. This will help us make the best possible assessment of your overall situation before we make a decision.

Q: Where do they get the information?

A:  From publicly available information, including: 

-  The Electoral Register from Local Authorities

-  County Court Judgments from Registry Trust.

-  Bankruptcy (and other similar orders) from the Insolvency Service.

-  Fraud information may also come from fraud prevention agencies.

-  Credit information comes from information on applications to banks, building societies, credit card companies etc. and also from the conduct of those accounts.

Q: How will I know if my information is to be sent to a CRA or FPA?

A: You will be informed when you apply for a mortgage if your application data is to be supplied. The next section will tell you how, when and why we will search at CRAs and FPAs and what we will do with the information we obtain from them. We will also tell you if we plan to send payment history information on you or your business, if you have one, to CRAs. You can ask at any time the name of CRAs and FPAs.

Q: Why is my data used in this way?

A: We and other organisations want to make the best possible decisions we can, in order to make sure that you, or your business, will be able to repay us. Some organisations may also use the information to prevent fraud and money-laundering and to verify your identity. In this way we can ensure that we all make responsible decisions. At the same time we also want to make decisions quickly and easily and, by using up to date information, provided electronically, we are able to make the most reliable and fair decisions possible.

Q: Who controls what such agencies are allowed to do with my data?

A: All organisations that collect and process personal data are regulated by the Data Protection Act 2018, overseen by the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO). All credit reference agencies are in regular dialogue with the ICO. Use of the Electoral Register is controlled under the Representation of the People Act 2000.

Q: Can just anyone look at my data held at credit reference agencies?

A: No, access to your information is very strictly controlled and only those that are entitled to do so, may see it. Usually that will only be with your agreement or (very occasionally) if there is a legal requirement.

Please read this section very carefully, it will vary from lender to lender

What we do

1)    When you apply to us for a mortgage, MHL (and the organisations we share your data with) will make checks such as assessing this application for credit and verifying your identity to prevent and detect crime, sanctions breaches and money laundering.

We will: 

a)    Check our own records for information on: 

i)      your existing or previous loans with us either in your own or joint names

b)    Search at credit reference agencies for information on:

i)      your credit application
i)      your financial situation and financial history
ii)     public information including the electoral register
iii)    your financial associates'* credit, financial situation and financial history information
iv)   fraud prevention information

c)    Search at fraud prevention agencies for information on you and any addresses at which you have lived and on your business** (if you have one) to prevent fraud and money-laundering and to verify your identity.

d)    details held by HMRC accessed through the HMRC Mortgage Verification System

We will use this information to:

a)    Assess your creditworthiness and whether you can afford to take the product;
b)    Verify the accuracy of the data you have provided;
c)    Prevent criminal activity, fraud and money laundering;
d)    Manage your account(s);
e)    Trace and recover debts;
f)     Ensure any offers provided to you are appropriate to your circumstances.

2) What we do with the information you supply to us as part of the application: 

a)    Information on applications will be sent to CRAs and FPAs and will be recorded by them.
b)    Where you borrow from us, we will give details of your loan accounts and how you manage it/them to CRAs and FPAs. If you borrow and do not repay in full and on time, CRAs will record the outstanding debt.
c)    When CRAs receive a search from us they will place a search footprint on your credit file that may be seen by other lenders.

i)      Multiple credit searches and non/late payments may affect your ability to obtain credit elsewhere.

d)    This information may be supplied to other organisations by CRAs and FPAs to:

i)      perform similar checks,
ii)     to check details on proposals and claims for all type of insurance,
iii)    to check details of job applicants and employees, and
iv)   to trace your whereabouts and recover debts that you owe

e)    Records remain on file for 6 years after they are closed, whether settled by you or defaulted.
f)     If you are making a joint application, or you inform us that you have a spouse or financial associate, they will link your records together, so you should make sure you discuss this with them, and share with them this information, before submitting the application.
g)    CRAs will also link your records together and these links will remain on our and their files until such time as you or your partner successfully files for a disassociation with the CRAs to break that link.
h)    The information provided may be used to check against the existing open accounts of other lenders to prevent and/or detect fraud.
i)      If you give us false or inaccurate information and we suspect or identify fraud we will record this and may also pass this information to FPAs and other organisations involved in crime and fraud prevention and you may be liable to criminal prosecution.
j)      If you have borrowed from us and do not make payments that you owe you, we will trace your whereabouts and recover debts.
k)    We and other organisations may access and use from other countries the information recorded by fraud prevention agencies.
l)        Your data may also be used for other purposes for which you give your specific permission or, in very limited circumstances, when required by law or where permitted under the terms of the Data Protection laws.
m)    If fraud is detected, you could be refused certain services or finance.

When we and CRAs / FPAs process your personal data, we do so on the basis that we have a legitimate interest in preventing fraud and money laundering, and to verify your identity, in order to protect our business and to comply with laws that apply to us. Such processing is also a contractual requirement of the services or financing you have requested. A legitimate interest is when we have a business or commercial reason to use your information. This must not unfairly go against what is right and best for you.

Further details of how your information will be used by us and CRAs/ FPAs, and your data protection rights, can be found in the Magellan Homeloans Privacy Notice which is available on our website.* A financial associate is someone with whom you have a personal relationship that creates a joint financial unit in a similar way to a married couple. You will have been living at the same address at the time. It is not intended to include temporary arrangements such as students or rented flat sharers or business relationships.

** A small business is defined as an organisation which might be sole trader, partnership or a limited company that has three or less partners or directors.

*** Credit reference agencies may link together the records of people that are part of a financial unit. They may do this when people are known to be linked, such as being married or have jointly applied for credit or have joint accounts. They may also link people together if they, themselves, state that they are financially linked.