Credit with training wheels

I’ve been trying to get a credit card for a while. I need it to do things like book taxis, buy theatre tickets, train tickets, and plane tickets.

The first time I was rejected, I assumed it was because I was a student with no income.

The second time, I thought it was because I had a basic account with the pitiful Solo debit card. As I’ve mentioned before, banks give this kind of card to people they don’t trust. So as soon as I could, I upgraded to a normal current account.

The third time I was rejected, I was told that it was because I needed to have my current account for at least four months.

The fourth time I was rejected, I discovered that, actually, banks don’t give people credit cards until they’ve lived in the UK for two or three years. Great! Months and months more to wait until I can book taxis, buy theatre, train and plane tickets.

Then my friend Bettina told me about a credit card for people with bad credit histories. In fact, I have a perfect credit history — it’s just not long enough in this country.

I applied for the card last week and it arrived today. Eagerly, I ripped open the envelope, ignored the card and scanned the letter. I have a credit limit of £260 (about AUD530). It’s a whole £10 above the minimum credit limit they offer, how lucky am I!

Well, at least it’s enough for a taxi ride!


  1. says:

    According to banks’ online home loan calculators, the higher your credit card limit is, the less money you can borrow for buying a home. Significantly less, too!

    Maybe the bank is assuming that if you have a $10,000 credit limit, you’ll eventually be $10,000 in debt. Those pessimistic bastards.

  2. joanium says:

    mr joel, this humiliating experience is in sharp contrast to the $10,800 I was offered for my first credit card, despite being a student. Oh, for the pre-credit-crunch days!

    Rohan, I didn’t know that, about the relationship between credit cards and home loan limits! Of course, online calculators are pretty stupid. If you have a really, really high credit limit for, say, a Black American Express card, I’m sure a real bank person would grovel for the chance of giving you a massive loan!

    Haha, this is funny from the Wikipedia article on the Black Amex card.

    ‘The Centurion card was the first “Black Card”, but other card issuers are attempting to enter this lucrative high-end market. Despite new competition, the Centurion Card can be easily distinguished by its weight due to its titanium make-up; it is the only metal charge card in circulation.’

  3. taiirei says:

    Joan! How have you survived so far without one? I have two from Australia. One is for general banking (so I can hold onto my money for interest purposes as long as possible before paying off card) and the other’s for travelling. No overseas transaction/withdrawal/conversion fees from that card. I love it!

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