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No one will issue me a credit card

RandomEngyRandomEngy Registered User regular
edited March 2009 in Help / Advice Forum
I used a credit card for a bit in college, making every payment. However I switched to a debit/check card at some point and used that because it was convenient not to have to pay bills all the time. I've been using the check card only for several years now, but decided I should try and switch to a credit card because the rewards whatnot can get me a little something back.

However it was rejected. Not enough credit history they say. After an incredibly painful and drawn-out snail-mail check of my credit report, snail mail correspondence back to them, and another call following up their identical unhelpful response, I find out that my credit card history doesn't count because apparently they closed the diligently paid account for what I assume was inactivity. And according to the bizarro-world of credit card companies, you need to have had a credit card in order to get a credit card. Asking about this insane policy, they suggested I apply for a gas station credit card or a department store credit card. Checking on the internet, they seemed to agree. Get a store card and build credit. Well great.

Amazed that I have to get another credit card and use it just to get the credit card I want, I apply for a Fred Meyer card. Rejected. A Chevron card. Rejected due to not enough credit history. Apparently there are also Sears, J.C. Penny and some other stores, but I don't shop there.

They apparently don't seem to care that I am completely able to pay, they only care that I used a check card for a while, which I guess means that I should never be able to get a credit card in my life.

Is there any way out of this? I thought I was okay on credit but this just snuck up on me out of the blue and I have no idea how to deal with this insane system.

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    GameHatGameHat Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    Re-check your credit score. Consider getting a full credit report from a different source.

    Two years ago, credit card companies were dying to get new card-holding customers. It's faded a bit as the economy has crashed, but I'm still getting probably five card offers / week.

    From your OP, it sounds like your credit SHOULD be fine. The fact that you are getting rejected for cards raises all sorts of red flags. Get that credit report and make sure you don't have any glitches on it - i.e, credit agencies THINK you are someone else with a maxxed card with lots of missed payments. Or - and this would be bad - you actually had a balance on that card back in college that you never paid off that has been throwing lots of missed payment warnings.

    If your credit checks out fine, you might need to just start with a secured credit card. That is to say - you put down a deposit to get a credit card with the intent of building a credit history.

    GameHat on
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    ThanatosThanatos Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    Nobody wants to give out secured loans these days (i.e. mortgages, car loans), let alone unsecured loans.

    Thanatos on
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    GameHatGameHat Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    Too late for the edit,

    See if you bank will issue you a credit card. If you've had a checking and/or savings account through them for a couple of years they will probably be more willing to offer you a line of credit.

    GameHat on
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    EliminationElimination Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    Getting rejected lowers your credit score as well i believe....as retarded as that sounds.

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    DockenDocken Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    Thanatos wrote: »
    Nobody wants to give out secured loans these days (i.e. mortgages, car loans), let alone unsecured loans.

    This is the problem - the GFC is fundamentally a credit crisis, which lowers the ability of CC companies to securitise their balances for all but the best books (and even then DCM is fairly illiquid at this point).

    Bottom line is that its filtering down to their lending policies and they are restricting credit accordingly to text book cases (and you are not one of them because with no history they cannot statistically quantify your ability to repay as well as they would like).

    Docken on
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    DustyBottomsDustyBottoms Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    I had the same problem. Definitely second the advice about going to your bank and seeing if they issue a credit card. If you have a family member with good credit perhaps you can have them cosign the application so that their credit is under scrutiny as well as yours - as long as you're going to be responsible. If none of this works, look for a secured credit card - one where you have to put up a deposit (the security) that serves as your credit line, and then you make payments normally.

    For the doubters about his credit history, this is the norm in this economic climate. My family all uses the same bank, and I myself have a respectable amount of money in my account. However, as a 22 year old right out of college and just barely starting my first full time job, nobody wants to give me a credit card because I have no credit history. Not even my bank! My father had to cosign my application and only then did I just get the card card in the mail two days ago.

    And yeah the paper trail is frustrating because they really don't give you any information and take forever to send whatever they're gonna send. Try to get on the phone with someone as soon as possible in the process - some of the people I spoke to were extremely helpful.

    DustyBottoms on
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    DragonPupDragonPup Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    Try Capital One. When I had no credit history 8 years ago they issued me one, albiet with a low initial limit. Doesn't hurt to ask, even if this economy.

    DragonPup on
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    matt has a problemmatt has a problem Points to 'off' Points to 'on'Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    DragonPup wrote: »
    Try Capital One. When I had no credit history 8 years ago they issued me one, albiet with a low initial limit. Doesn't hurt to ask, even if this economy.
    After 2 years of paying on time, never going over the limit, and never carrying a balance of more than 1/2 my limit, Capital One just upped my interest rate from 8.45% to 17.9%. Be prepared to get bent over by any company you get a card from.

    Also look in to getting a secured card, instead of an unsecured one. Most of the offers you get in the mail are for unsecured cards, but banks will usually offer a secured version, I know Bank of America does. Basically, you give them a deposit (when my wife had one, it was $100, and I think she had a $500 limit), that they can then use in case you miss a payment, stop paying etc. Cards with higher interest rates and annual fees will be easier to get too, as they make the card company more money for doing nothing but giving you the card.
    Getting rejected lowers your credit score as well i believe....as retarded as that sounds.
    Any time your credit is pulled, it lowers your score a little. Rejection or acceptance afterwards don't change your score, it's the actual act of the credit company checking what your score and your history is. Basically, by trying to get new credit, you look like more of a credit risk, since apparently you need credit. Also, closing a line of credit lowers your score, as now since you're someone who doesn't need credit, companies are taking a risk that you'll just use them and they won't be able to extract their fees and punishments from you before you pay off and close your account.

    matt has a problem on
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    Casually HardcoreCasually Hardcore Once an Asshole. Trying to be better. Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    Just about every credit card company is raising their APR to something ridiculous. My CapOne card is going up to 28% this april.

    Though it doesnt really matter how high the interest rate is if you're disciplined enough to keep your debt low enough that you're not hurt by the interest rate. 28% of $10 is trivial (especially once you factor in the rewards), but 28% of $1000 is ball punching painful.

    Anyways, have you tried getting a 'student credit card'? They're credit cards that credit issuers use to trap young kids into a lifetime of debt, but the requirements to get them isnt bad. Dont expect a 5% interest rate, but it really doesnt matter what the APR is, as I stated before.

    Casually Hardcore on
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    WillethWilleth Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    I have a student credit card. The interest on it is fucking ridiculous but I think the time taken for the interest to kick in is longer than usual. I don't really know - I only got it so I could have a decent credit score and be considered for other stuff in the future. I pay it off from my savings account as soon as I use it.

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    starlanceriistarlancerii Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    If the interest rate is insane on your credit card, just pay it off monthly :-)

    starlancerii on
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    Bionic MonkeyBionic Monkey Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited March 2009
    It's the economy man. Every credit company has vastly restricted the amount of credit that they extend to anyone. Even people with good history.

    You may have to just ride it out another year or two until the economy shapes up.

    Bionic Monkey on
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    Dunadan019Dunadan019 Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    go through your bank. most banks offer credit cards nowadays since they know where your money is. unless you use a really small bank, they will probably have one for you.

    my bank gave me a credit card at 9.99 fixed.

    Dunadan019 on
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    LewishamLewisham Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    Also look in to getting a secured card, instead of an unsecured one. Most of the offers you get in the mail are for unsecured cards, but banks will usually offer a secured version, I know Bank of America does. Basically, you give them a deposit (when my wife had one, it was $100, and I think she had a $500 limit), that they can then use in case you miss a payment, stop paying etc. Cards with higher interest rates and annual fees will be easier to get too, as they make the card company more money for doing nothing but giving you the card.

    I have to get a secured card right now (because I've not got a stupid green card), and the deposit is 1:1 with the credit line. Deposit $300, get a $300 limit. This means if you turn tail and run, they don't lose cash on you. And they can get the debt collectors for the fees. Win-win for them.

    Lewisham on
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    FartzFartz Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    I've been working for the past 5 months at a call centre that handles customer support for a major credit card issuer, but my department didn't handle applications so I don't have too many suggestions. The secured card sounds like a good idea, but I have no recommendations as far as they go because my employer actually stopped issuing them a few years ago.

    If all else fails, you can ask your parents add you as an authorised user on their account. I'm in the process of getting my first credit card, and this is basically what I've done. My dad applied for a card and added me as authorized user with no intention of using it himself. It's not the same as having your own account, though, because you're basically piggy-backing off the primary cardholder. An authorized user gets their own card linked to the account, but they're not financially responsible for the account. This causes some annoyances because you're technically not permitted to really make any changes to the account if you call in. It's still reported to the credit bureaus under your name, though, and it does let you establish your credit.

    Fartz on
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    RBachRBach Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    I had a hell of a time getting a card even a few years ago when the credit card companies were supposedly handing the things out like candy. Even my own bank wouldn't give me one. I eventually had to do something like Fartz above and had a parent cosign. Even then it was a ridiculous amount of trouble. I still have no idea why--I checked my credit rating and there wasn't anything wrong with it besides the whole not having much credit history thing.

    RBach on
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    DracilDracil Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    I had the same problem for a while. The only cards they would offer me had annual monthly fees. To which I said "fuck that"

    Everyone else said "no credit history"

    Then on a whim, I decided to apply for a card at Old Navy since they seemed intent on asking everyone to sign up for their card, voila, I had a card.

    But I don't really want an Old Navy card.

    So I went to my bank and applied for one. Got a call from them asking why I wanted one now? Just told them 'cause I use my debit card a lot so might as well get a credit card, and I got approved.

    Dracil on
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    FiggyFiggy Fighter of the night man Champion of the sunRegistered User regular
    edited March 2009
    It's possible to have a clean credit history but not have any credit.

    The OP has no credit. Just because you havn't skipped out on loans or bills doesn't mean much to these companies. They're interested in your income as well.

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    SeptusSeptus Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    Well I made a post about secured credit cards a while back, and despite some of the warnings in the thread, now that I have it, I'm not worried. The interest rate(not that I ever plan on carrying a balance) is fairly low, and there's no minimum time period that I have to keep the card and my deposit with them.

    However, in the same thread someone recommended that after applying for the credit card and getting rejected for lack of a credit history(as opposed to a negative history), that I call them up and speak to a customer service rep. Supposedly it could work that you explain how you have, maybe for a long time now, a stable income and explain why you have no credit history.

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    JohannenJohannen Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    This is where I've always found banks to be weird.

    HSBC basically begged me to have a credit card with them whilst I was a university student, yet my ex-girlfriend tried when she left to do a masters and they rejected her until she could prove she was doing a PhD for some absurd reason.

    I didnt have a job when I was in uni but I'd been a customer with HSBC for years and they have even asked me to upgrade the card to a premier account so they can rinse me of even more money.

    You should ask around at other banks and see if you moved over to them if they would give you a credit card.

    Johannen on
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    TexiKenTexiKen Dammit! That fish really got me!Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    Ask your bank for a $500 limit to begin with, which can increase after showing you have made multiple payments on time.

    TexiKen on
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    JasconiusJasconius sword criminal mad onlineRegistered User regular
    edited March 2009
    Nobody should be expecting the credit system to work in their favor right now, even for a small limit credit card. Especially if you are younger.

    Jasconius on
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    Casually HardcoreCasually Hardcore Once an Asshole. Trying to be better. Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    Yeah they're really upping their rates now that big brother is looking over their shoulder and threatening some big changes for 2010.

    But you can still work the rewards system for your benefit.

    Casually Hardcore on
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    RandomEngyRandomEngy Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    Thanks for the advice. I'm going to try and get a credit card through my bank.

    RandomEngy on
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    GameHatGameHat Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    DragonPup wrote: »
    Try Capital One. When I had no credit history 8 years ago they issued me one, albiet with a low initial limit. Doesn't hurt to ask, even if this economy.
    After 2 years of paying on time, never going over the limit, and never carrying a balance of more than 1/2 my limit, Capital One just upped my interest rate from 8.45% to 17.9%. Be prepared to get bent over by any company you get a card from.

    On the flip side, if you've had a card for a while and have good credit you don't need to stand for this.

    My cards (I have three) all tend to do this stunt about once every two years. When this happens, I just call them up and say "Go lower or I transfer to another card." Only had to back this up once.

    Of course, this only works if:

    A) You are able to easily get credit
    B) You can actually handle a transfer without fucking yourself

    so not suitable for the OP but I would suggest everyone at least try asking for a lower limit. I was surprised the first time how easy it was. I'm like the ideal credit customer though - credit score 800, not a single late payment, carry a small to medium balance constantly (bad for me , good for them. I really need to get a bit more disciplined.)

    GameHat on
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    RandomEngyRandomEngy Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    Looks like the bank will get me my card, yay! Thanks for the tip.

    RandomEngy on
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    HlubockyHlubocky Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    I had the same problem. As soon as I got a job out of college, I filled out the Citi application, typed in my salary, etc... and was rejected. I tried again, this time indicating I was a student. BAM! Here is your credit card! That was in 2005 though.... things are probably a little different now.

    Hlubocky on
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    ApogeeApogee Lancks In Every Game Ever Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    As a a guy who does credit card apps as a job, I reccomend a secured card. not sure what/if banks in the US do that, but generally you put down money equal to the credit limit, and they lock it into an investment as collateral. If you have some cash to spare, do it.

    And don't ever leave a balance on the card. It's dumb, given the insane interest rates.

    *Edit* Well, guess I'm late to the party. Kudos on getting the card, though!

    Apogee on
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    CrashtardCrashtard Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    One thing I would do is go to annualcreditreport.com and get one of your free credit reports. Might help if you can actually see what's on it. Also check your bank for a credit card through them, which I see you're already going to do.

    Edit: look like you got one already. grats!

    Crashtard on
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    SliderSlider Registered User regular
    You can probably lock this thread and ban the above user.

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    TubeTube Registered User admin
    no shit sherlock

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