What is credit broking?
A credit broker helps you to get credit by finding a lender who is willing to loan you money. You may have used a credit broker if you’ve been searching online for a loan.
If you’re not sure whether you’ve been dealing with a lender or a credit broker, look at the business’s website to find out. Credit brokers must tell you that they’re a credit broker and not a lender.
Make sure the broker you use is on the FCA's Financial Services Register. This means that they’re authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.
Be careful about any credit brokers who ask you to pay upfront, or additional fees – these might not be legitimate credit brokers.
Types of complaint we see
You may be unhappy about the fees you’ve been charged by a credit broker. You may have been charged a fee even when you haven’t got a loan. This might be because the credit broker has found a loan, but you decided not to take it out.
Common complaints we hear from consumers include:
- they didn’t know they’d be charged a fee
- none of the loans the broker found were right, but they've still charged them a fee
- they didn’t get a loan offer or go ahead with the loan, but have still been charged the full fee
- the broker took the fee before it was supposed to.
How to complain
Contact your broker first. They need to have the chance to put things right. They have to give you their final response within eight weeks for most types of complaint. If this doesn’t happen they need to explain why they haven’t been able to give you a full response. If you’re unhappy with their response, or if they don’t respond, let us know.
Find out more about making a complaint.
What we look at
We check that brokers have given you clear information including:
whether they’re a broker or lender
their legal name so that you know who to contact if there’s a problem
the fees that you need to pay, and when and how you need to pay them
the details of the loan they offered
whether your details might be passed to other companies
If you didn’t want the loan, we’ll need to know:
whether you got in touch with the broker to tell them
what the broker said in response
Putting things right
If we find you’ve been treated unfairly, we'll ask the business to put things right. This usually involves putting you back in the position you’d be in if things hadn’t gone wrong. It'll depend on the nature and type of complaint. For example, there are rules about how much a credit broker can charge if a customer doesn’t take out the loan. So even if you’ve already paid a credit broker a fee and decided not to take out the loan, they should only keep a small amount of the fee. If you weren’t told about the fee, we might tell the business it needs to refund the full amount of the fee.
Having fees taken from your bank account unexpectedly can cause further problems and charges. If we find instances of unfair or unauthorised fees we might, for example, tell the credit broker to:
- refund the credit broking fee (sometimes with interest)
- refund any bank charges that were incurred as a result of the fee being taken
- pay you compensation for any trouble and upset caused
Detailed information for businesses
Businesses can find out more in our detailed information about handling complaints about credit broking.