Rants, Raves, Reviews

GE Money where did they come from all of a sudden?

By Gary R, in , posted: 4-Jul-2006 19:06

My wife recently went to Harvey Norman to take up an '24 month interest free' deal for a lounge suite worth $2400.00. We don't normally HP (hire purchase) as a rule but with one income and a youngster in tow having an HP for this purchase suited us. The repayments worked out at about $25 p/week, no big deal and easy to manage. My wife picked up an application form for me to complete.


Reading the application form I was quite shocked. I wasn't applying for an HP I was in fact applying for a GE Creditline card which is essentially a revolving credit line with a $25 annual renewal fee. My shock turned to disabelief when I read through the amount of information GE wanted from me to sign up for what is essentially a $2400 liability. GE want to know everything about our finances. How much is our mortgage/s? How much property do we own? What is your income and outgoings? Seriously it is way more information than my bank required for a mortgage!

I am not sure if you have noticed but GE Money is becoming very entrentched in the NZ financial scene. They have purchased PRF (Pacific Retail Finance) which is the finance book for Noel Leeming and Bond & Bond. Their website claims that the GE Creditline is availble at over 2000 NZ merchants.

GE Money is owned by the mighty American GE Corporation. One of the biggest companies in the world with billions of dollars in assests and a diverse business which covers everything from appliances to jet engines. GE do it all.

I have a real problem giving all my personal information to an American giant. I don't want another 'credit card' and I object to the practice of data mining for the purpose of building up an individual credit scoring profile. Looking at the growth of GE Money it is likely that the future for HP is GE Money and if you want an HP you may have no choice. For me I will choose to save up for a purchase or extend my mortgage.

Buyer beware!

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Comment by alasta, on 4-Jul-2006 19:44

When I worked for another large retail chain, we used to offer hire purchase courtesy of AGC Finance who offered would-be credit cards, similar to what you describe. This was not practised by Gilrose Finance, who we shifted to after AGC turned down too many applications. Both of these companies required a reasonable amount of personal information, and I can sort of understand why. Your bank has access to a lot of information about your financial position and history, and can easily interact with you personally. Finance companies, on the other hand, usually have to judge whether to offer an approval based entirely apon the information provided on the application form.

Comment by Bung, on 4-Jul-2006 19:58

The true interest free accounts operated in the past by the likes of Radfords (Wgtn) have disappeared. The replacements tend to have booking fees and compulsory insurances that easily add up to about 15% on the usual purchase.

Author's note by Jama, on 4-Jul-2006 20:09

The extent of the personal information should be permission for my power company or another firm I have had another HP with to release information regarding my payment history and of course a Baycorp check. My liabilities are none of the finance company's business.

Comment by freitasm, on 4-Jul-2006 21:21

When my car lease expired I decided to pay to keep it - it was cheaper, but not easier. I didn't start with GE Finance, but another company which was later bought out. I had to pay $18,000 so I financed $9,000 and sent a cheque for the $9,000. After two months of no automatic payments flowing out of my bank account I called GE Finance: "Your account is settled, sir", to which I replied "No, it shouldn't. I sent a $9,000 cheque for the deposit". "Yes, that's right. Your $9,000 cheque paid for the $9,000 finance" she said. "That was the deposit, why I would finance something and send the full payment on the same day?" was my reply. "No sir, the deposit you pay to the car dealer" "There's no car dealer. It's the settlement of a lease!". "Sorry sir, but that's what the computer says, your account has 0 balance now.". A couple of days later someone called me to say they'd "found a problem" with my account. How do these companies stay in business?

Comment by mike sweeny, on 5-Jul-2006 18:16

your kidding right? American Giant Company. do you have any concept of the global money market? any time you borrow money,which is exactly what you were doing. that money is financed by one company, underwritten by another and marketed by someone else.

Author's note by Jama, on 6-Jul-2006 08:40

No I am not kidding and yes I do understand the concept of money. If you actually read my whole blog you will see my issue is about giving GE Money information not about borrowing money.

Comment by Jamil Ahmad, on 6-Jul-2006 17:26

Well, I dealt a lot with GE Money and GE Commercial finance. I think there might be few drawbacks in providing your personal information to the American Giant (GE is the 2nd Biggest Company in the World by Market Value), but there are lots of benefitsin using companies financed by GE. The reason is the security, maturity, and the cash GE has. Security is their AAA Rating througout their history; Maturity is their experience with the business and global markets (GE is one of the pioneers in Outsourcing) and Cash is always a big guaranty for any company and GE has more than 160 B$ in assets globally. I think countries like Newzealand should leavrage the benefits from such conglomerates.

Comment by Judy, on 27-Apr-2007 09:29

Lowe's Visa was bought out by GE Money Bank. There are a number of changes from the original Capital One Lowe's Visa. Each person should read the changes carefully-before it is too late to opt out.H

Comment by D Payne, on 16-Jun-2007 17:37

After reading whats been said about GE Money, I am begining to wonder why I bothered with them. It is a very good point you make re the amount of information asked for, and I remember vividly when I applied for the card, I was thinking "what do they think I am asking for, a million dollar loan"?, I think it is over the top.

I only got the card on the day, because the store was offering a good interest free deal over a good period of time, in hindsight it was more effort than it was worth.

Comment by Pete, on 13-May-2008 22:35

A bit late in on the debate here but what you have to realise is that there is an ever increasing need for finance companies to lend responsibly in NZ. If you cannot demonstrate that you can a) afford to repay the loan (which requires knowledge of your income and outgoings), and that b) you profile for the level of borrowing you are after (stability of job, home, etc), then no finance company can lend to you and had on heart say that they did so in the knowledge that it would not put you in a disadvatageous position. The information is for your benefit, not theirs (as they should all provide you with an option to not be solicited for further borrowing, etc, should you so desire). Nor will a reputable company sell your information to any third party for their marketing purposes.

Comment by doneedano, on 24-Sep-2008 21:49

after having read all this..im sorry guys but i think il have to bring u back to reality.. now ur complaining abt having to give GE all this info? have u EVER applied for a credit card in ur life? try walking into your VERY OWN .. KIWIbank and apply for a credit card.. go there and see how much information they want JUST FOR A $500 CREDIT LIMIT and come back to me.. and guess wat u'll find? much more information to be given out along with an extremely poor service! and to u mr who was told their accnt was closed and then was later called to mend it.. FIRST OF ALL.. if a finance company tells u ur accnts paid off..u listen and hang up and change all ur numbers before they change their mind..so dont tell me that you actually argued over the fact that YOU OWED THEM MONEY..wat a joke! and secondly.. u shud b glad they called u back to rectify the intial problem..cuz i kno companies that "forget" about it and let ur name go strait to baycorp.!!!!!!! so to everyone thats peed off about GE entering NZ..GET A LIFE..nz is a crap hole without big companies such as GE..believe it because it IS the fact!

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Gary R
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