MSE News

Sainsbury's Bank stops accepting ALL self-employed people for credit cards and loans

Sainsbury's Bank has brought in strict new lending restrictions which mean it is no longer issuing new credit cards or loans to anyone who's self-employed, can reveal. 

The bank says it has made "temporary updates" to its lending criteria due to the current uncertainty arising from the coronavirus crisis. It says it will continue to keep the criteria under review. 

The rules apply to new loan and card applications, so if you're self-employed and already have a Sainsbury's Bank credit card or loan you won't see any change.

Many top 0% credit card deals have worsened in recent months and providers have tightened their lending, but Sainsbury's Bank is the first we've seen to bring in a blanket ban on credit card and loan applications for all self-employed people. 

Sainsbury's Bank currently offers the joint-longest 0% period for purchases on a credit card and also features in our best buys for 0% balance transfer cards and credit cards offering rewards.

If you want a new credit card or loan, see our Cards and Loans guides for all the current top picks.

Can I still get a credit card or loan if I’m self-employed?

It's important to stress that Sainsbury's Bank is the only bank we've seen to introduce this kind of blanket restriction so far. 

HSBC, Lloyds Banking Group, M&S Bank, MBNA, Nationwide, Santander, Tesco Bank, TSB and Virgin Money have all told us they ARE still lending to some self-employed people, though each bank will have its own criteria for who it accepts. 

This means that if you're self-employed you may still be able to get some of the top credit cards and loans out there – for example, M&S Bank currently offers the joint-longest 0% balance transfer card.

However, lending criteria have become tighter across the board in recent months, so before you apply, it's worth using our eligibility calculators for credit cards and loans to see which products you've the best chance of being accepted for.

What does Sainsbury's Bank say?

A Sainsbury's Bank spokesperson said its measure was only temporary and due to the current situation, adding: "We constantly review the market and consider a number of factors when providing credit cards and loans. We're sorry for any inconvenience this may cause these customers and we're keeping this decision under constant review."

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