This was the small print on an advertising sent out by a credit union. The thing to note is that the credit union is checking current members (who would want to participate) for bankruptcies and charge offs.
"*A current member must have no bankruptcies or charge-offs to be eligible for participation in the SDFCU Membership Referral Program. Only new accounts apply. A joint owner added to an existing account is not considered a new member and therefore does not qualify as a referral and are not eligible for the reward or drawing. Closed accounts reopened during this promotion period are not eligible for reward or drawing. Completed referral card must be presented with an application for reward. The $25 reward will be deposited into a current member's savings account once the new member is active and signs up for direct deposit. The $25 reward will be deposited on January 31st, 2010. **Newly referred members will be entered into a random drawing for one of three prizes to be drawn on January 31st, 2010. Drawing winners will be notified within 3 to 6 weeks of drawing. Void where prohibited. SDFCU employees and volunteers are not eligible for promotion."
This appears only to be in regard to right to particiate in a promotional event that is unrelated to your account status.
I dont see that as a routine investigation of credit history. If you dont qualify, just dont apply for rewards under their program.
It's for a referral program -- if you refer someone to them, you must not have any bankruptcies or charge-offs. So if you someone says you referred them, they are going to pull your credit (hard pull) to verify that you qualify for their promotion. At least, that is how I understood it to read. I could be wrong. It is late at night....
Hopefully, people would read the small print before making a decision.
I am an SDFCU member and I spoke to them about this. They confirmed that they do not do a credit check on referring members, but that they require you have no bankruptcies or charge offs on accounts held with SDFCU. I figured that's what they meant.
I'm a member, so if you're interested in getting $10 for opening a savings account, and $15 for checking, and another $25 if you set up direct deposit before 1/31/11, PM me! They soft pull Equifax for membership. I'm in love with them and their awesome funds availability policy. (Checks <$1k are available immediately.)
Also, for the rebuilders out there, they offer a secured loan and a secured CC with no hard pull, so you can do the 1-2 punch of loan and cc with just one collateral posted and get a nice credit mix with two on-time payment histories for the price of one! Just make sure you set it up over the phone, bc they do pull if you do it online.