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UK credit card application advice

UK credit card application advice

Old Apr 21st 2023, 12:22 am
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Default UK credit card application advice

Looking for some info/experience/advice please.

In a month, I will have been back in the UK for a year. Previous residence in the UK was way back in the Dark Ages and I had no significant employment or other presence in the UK when I left, and zero credit history I'm sure.

I know my US credit rating is irrelevant here. I would like to build a credit rating, I do not currently need to borrow/acquire debt. I would mostly hope to get a cash back card so I can just put my regular monthly expenses on there and then get a bit back every month, because it all helps.

I do not own property, I rent.

My gross income is now good, my savings are not.

I have no credit cards from the UK, but I do now at least have voter registration, energy bills, council tax bills, water bills, phone/internet bills.

If I just plug in my current earnings to one of those "soft" checking things, they rate the likelihood of being accepted by both Santander and AmEx as very good. But there is nowhere in there to indicate that I have only been a UK resident for a year - they won't accept US addresses, so I had to enter my childhood home address () to get the thing to work at all. I'm sure that in real life that will be a big negative.

I don't want to apply and get the rejection on my infant UK credit record if it is pointless to even apply at this point.

So, any experience here please? Is there any point in applying for one of these, I do I have to go the beginner route of a secured card, etc.

Edit to add: I did a UK credit check with Experian and apparently my score is "excellent" Is that real, when it comes to actually applying for a card?

Last edited by Lion in Winter; Apr 21st 2023 at 12:33 am.
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Old Apr 21st 2023, 12:47 am
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Default Re: UK credit card application advice

Money Saving Expert is a good resource for researching cards.

https://www.moneysavingexpert.com/

Having been here a year and renting I don't expect you to have too much trouble finding a card. When we moved back we also thought we had no credit history but we had rented a house for a year a few years earlier and that must have counted because I was able to get a credit card and a mobile phone contact etc. Our daughter has moved back recently and uses her Wise UK debit card for now. In January she moved into a house she bought so I expect she will also now be building credit by paying those associated bills similar to what I did when I was renting.
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Old Apr 21st 2023, 1:05 am
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Default Re: UK credit card application advice

Originally Posted by durham_lad
Money Saving Expert is a good resource for researching cards.

https://www.moneysavingexpert.com/

Having been here a year and renting I don't expect you to have too much trouble finding a card. When we moved back we also thought we had no credit history but we had rented a house for a year a few years earlier and that must have counted because I was able to get a credit card and a mobile phone contact etc. Our daughter has moved back recently and uses her Wise UK debit card for now. In January she moved into a house she bought so I expect she will also now be building credit by paying those associated bills similar to what I did when I was renting.

Thanks, DL. I thought it would come back with a great big "who the hell are you anyway?" type of response. I'm sure it's more difficult if actually asking for a loan or something, but I'm not there yet.
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Old Apr 21st 2023, 2:49 am
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Default Re: UK credit card application advice

Do you have a bank account? (I assume "yes") British banks have a far greater tendency to offer a credit card as one of their core banking services, so I would start by applying to the bank where you have a current account - they already have a relationship with you and can see your account activity, your income credits, and they presumably have an established address for you, all of which makes you a lower risk than someone who exists primarily as a name on an application form.
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Old Apr 21st 2023, 5:18 am
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Default Re: UK credit card application advice

Originally Posted by Pulaski
Do you have a bank account? (I assume "yes") British banks have a far greater tendency to offer a credit card as one of their core banking services, so I would start by applying to the bank where you have a current account - they already have a relationship with you and can see your account activity, your income credits, and they presumably have an established address for you, all of which makes you a lower risk than someone who exists primarily as a name on an application form.
Makes sense. I have two accounts - both with Lloyds - personal current and a business account. But the Lloyds "see if we can give you a card without hitting your credit score" app says they won't offer me a card. I have not yet been a year at this address, so that may be part of it.

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Old Apr 21st 2023, 6:42 am
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Default Re: UK credit card application advice

Originally Posted by Lion in Winter
Makes sense. I have two accounts - both with Lloyds - personal current and a business account. But the Lloyds "see if we can give you a card without hitting your credit score" app says they won't offer me a card. I have not yet been a year at this address, so that may be part of it.
Maybe try to find someone to talk to, probably by phone considering the quality of branch staff these days.

I can understand why Lloyds might not want to offer a credit card to a flighty teenager straight out of high school (though banks are rarely shy about throwing credit cards at university students ), but as a mature adult with a job, family and responsibilities, it seems odd that you wouldn't qualify for a credit card with at least £2,000 limit. .... I was begrudgingly issued a card by HSBC when I arrived in New York with Mrs P, and they gave me a card with a credit limit of $200. .... No there is not a zero or two missing from that number! A conversation with their credit card department saw the limit bumped significantly, to $5,000 IIRC. Still HSBC was pretty hopeless and I closed my accounts after leaving New York less than a year later.
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Old Apr 21st 2023, 9:42 am
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Default Re: UK credit card application advice

Originally Posted by Pulaski
Maybe try to find someone to talk to, probably by phone considering the quality of branch staff these days.

I can understand why Lloyds might not want to offer a credit card to a flighty teenager straight out of high school (though banks are rarely shy about throwing credit cards at university students ), but as a mature adult with a job, family and responsibilities, it seems odd that you wouldn't qualify for a credit card with at least £2,000 limit. .... I was begrudgingly issued a card by HSBC when I arrived in New York with Mrs P, and they gave me a card with a credit limit of $200. .... No there is not a zero or two missing from that number! A conversation with their credit card department saw the limit bumped significantly, to $5,000 IIRC. Still HSBC was pretty hopeless and I closed my accounts after leaving New York less than a year later.
I can't tell you how painful it is talking to Lloyds over the phone. What I went through to open a business account was beyond belief, and the current account wasn't much better. It was all fine online, but hit a snag and it takes weeks.

I wm have to find out about the cc though. You can't just walk into a branch and talk to someone about it either. You have to make an appointment, sometimes weeks out. There is no bank in Tiny Town where I currently live, so would have to go to Colchester or somewhere.

Sigh.

I remember the 200 dollar limit stuff, although I think I started with 250.
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Old Apr 24th 2023, 10:52 am
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Default Re: UK credit card application advice

Originally Posted by Lion in Winter
Makes sense. I have two accounts - both with Lloyds - personal current and a business account. But the Lloyds "see if we can give you a card without hitting your credit score" app says they won't offer me a card. I have not yet been a year at this address, so that may be part of it.
That's exactly it. The regulations say you have to be a UK resident for a year , there's no leeway. We asked.
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Old Apr 24th 2023, 11:26 am
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Default Re: UK credit card application advice

Originally Posted by bats
That's exactly it. The regulations say you have to be a UK resident for a year , there's no leeway. We asked.
I believe that you have been spun a yarn IOW "lied to". If someone tells you something like that "we can't help you, it's becauseof the regulations", you should always challenge them to provide documentation. .... It should be really easy these days, all they would need is a link to a web site probably for the Bank of England, or perhaps the FCA, where you could see the regulation.

There may be banks that do not offer credit cards to new immigrants "by policy", but I have never heard of such a "regulation", and indeed it would likely be prejudical to have such a regulation anyway.

I have just been looking, to see if such a regulation exists in the UK, and all I could find were web sites for card issuers explaining how new immigrants can get a card, but none of them say "we can't help you, come back when you've been here 12 months", not even one.

Last edited by Pulaski; Apr 24th 2023 at 11:33 am.
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Old Apr 25th 2023, 12:44 am
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Default Re: UK credit card application advice

Originally Posted by Lion in Winter
I can't tell you how painful it is talking to Lloyds over the phone. What I went through to open a business account was beyond belief, and the current account wasn't much better. It was all fine online, but hit a snag and it takes weeks.

I wm have to find out about the cc though. You can't just walk into a branch and talk to someone about it either. You have to make an appointment, sometimes weeks out. There is no bank in Tiny Town where I currently live, so would have to go to Colchester or somewhere.

Sigh.

I remember the 200 dollar limit stuff, although I think I started with 250.
I've banked with Lloyds for donkey's years, and have been thinking of asking them for a credit card again now I'm back, so I'm following your thread with interest. It is a pain having to make an appointment to see someone, I went through that in October, and the wait was so long I only got in just before returning to Australia. However if you can negotiate yourself an interview slot, it could well be worth it. The adviser I spoke to about moving savings back here, and opening new accounts, was incredibly helpful, and because I could explain face to face I think I got far more out of it than from a faceless call centre. it also enables you to take in extra paperwork and all that kind of thing.
I did ask vaguely back in October about whether I would be able to get a credit card when I returned home to live, and she was very encouraging, said they could look at it once I was resident again. No hint of a waiting period or anything like that. She could see the money I was transferring back from the Aussie accounts I showed her and that probably helped.

I'd give them a go. If I get an answer myself in the meantime, I'll let you know
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Old Apr 27th 2023, 4:05 am
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Default Re: UK credit card application advice

Originally Posted by Lion in Winter
Looking for some info/experience/advice please.

In a month, I will have been back in the UK for a year. Previous residence in the UK was way back in the Dark Ages and I had no significant employment or other presence in the UK when I left, and zero credit history I'm sure.

I know my US credit rating is irrelevant here. I would like to build a credit rating, I do not currently need to borrow/acquire debt. I would mostly hope to get a cash back card so I can just put my regular monthly expenses on there and then get a bit back every month, because it all helps.

I do not own property, I rent.

My gross income is now good, my savings are not.

I have no credit cards from the UK, but I do now at least have voter registration, energy bills, council tax bills, water bills, phone/internet bills.

If I just plug in my current earnings to one of those "soft" checking things, they rate the likelihood of being accepted by both Santander and AmEx as very good. But there is nowhere in there to indicate that I have only been a UK resident for a year - they won't accept US addresses, so I had to enter my childhood home address () to get the thing to work at all. I'm sure that in real life that will be a big negative.

I don't want to apply and get the rejection on my infant UK credit record if it is pointless to even apply at this point.

So, any experience here please? Is there any point in applying for one of these, I do I have to go the beginner route of a secured card, etc.

Edit to add: I did a UK credit check with Experian and apparently my score is "excellent" Is that real, when it comes to actually applying for a card?
I signed up to Experian and Credit Karma to keep a track on applications etc. after I was victim of cloning and credit card fraud. They give useful types in steps to improve your score and providers that would likely give credit you based on your current score.
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Old Apr 27th 2023, 5:08 am
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Default Re: UK credit card application advice

Originally Posted by Lion in Winter

I wm have to find out about the cc though. You can't just walk into a branch and talk to someone about it either. You have to make an appointment, sometimes weeks out. There is no bank in Tiny Town where I currently live, so would have to go to Colchester or somewhere.
This is why I like banking with First Direct in the UK (although I've been out of the country for 17 years I need to keep my UK account because two of my pension providers will only make payments into a UK account). I can always ring up and speak to a human (and they are really helpful) and they answer the phone quickly. What can't be sorted over the phone can be done online.
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Old Apr 27th 2023, 9:47 am
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Default Re: UK credit card application advice

Originally Posted by Snapper2000
I signed up to Experian and Credit Karma to keep a track on applications etc. after I was victim of cloning and credit card fraud. They give useful types in steps to improve your score and providers that would likely give credit you based on your current score.
I did see that. They recommended Santander but I'm going to wait until I've been at this address the full year. My score is excellent, but I have no history here.
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Old Apr 27th 2023, 9:48 am
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Default Re: UK credit card application advice

Originally Posted by Lynn R
This is why I like banking with First Direct in the UK (although I've been out of the country for 17 years I need to keep my UK account because two of my pension providers will only make payments into a UK account). I can always ring up and speak to a human (and they are really helpful) and they answer the phone quickly. What can't be sorted over the phone can be done online.
Functional human contact is a plus.
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Old Apr 28th 2023, 12:34 am
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Default Re: UK credit card application advice

You're renting a property, so a landlord will have performed credit checks and found you a good risk (in a market where if they had the slightest doubt, they could probably have found multiple alternative tenants).

Having made a (limited) google search of banks' criteria for a credit card, I don't see any stating the 1 year rule. My gut feeling is that if there's an obstacle, it's being self employed with a limited track record (they ask for a regular income, which is easier to prove as an employee).

You could make "soft" eligibility checks with various providers to gauge your chances of success. If you get universal positive results, you can apply with your preferred provider (Lloyds?) with confidence, and later with an alternative provider if rejected.

https://www.postoffice.co.uk/credit-...ck-eligibility
https://www.vanquis.co.uk/understand...w-uk-residents
etc.

You'd hope Lloyds would be accommodating, as you have current and business accounts with them and if they reject you for a credit card they may lose this business, but I'm not sure if they apply such joined-up thinking or whether they simply run the application through a computer programme as a standalone event.
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