Sunday, 13 September 2009

Ambivalence And Rejection: A Modern Finance Story

This week I did something I really didn't want to do.

I applied for a credit card.

Not because I'm out of money but because I'm going overseas soon and I'll need it.
Apparently hotels aren't willing to accept bookings or take it on the honour system that you aren't planning to wreck up the place or leave little 'gifts' behind the ventilation panels without some way of chasing you up if you don't turn up/do and they wish you hadn't.

I've never wanted a credit card, I hate the idea.
I don't like owing people money, I don't like complications and I don't like filling out forms.
But I had to.
So I did.

And I was knocked back.

I was knocked back for a credit card based on 20 or so questions on an initial form on their website.

I was stunned.

I'm in a secure full time job.
I am responsible with money.
I have savings which prove that not only am I responsible with money now I've been responsible with money for a long time.
But apparently I do not fall within their current parameters for approval.

So I rang them up and I asked them in polite, measured, mature tones what the dealio was.

It seems they've tightened their approval policy up of late* and all the little points my answers warranted didn't add up to enough to get me through the door with this particular provider.
I asked if there was anything on my application that had disadvantaged me.
The guy sort of danced around the subject but from what I could tell it was because I'd only been working in my steady full time job for 2.5 years and had only been renting my well-maintained flat for the same amount of time.
That and possibly my age.
Oh and my marital status is single.

I'm a single girl in her twenties.
I must be crazy with the monies.
Any minute now I'm going to get onto the internets and buy a llama on eBay because it was for cheaps and I can't resist a sale.

The thing that really grated was that this same provider had given my now 19.5 year old sister a card almost without waiting for a signature only 1.5 years earlier when she was in part time work and 18!

I know we don't want to just throw credit cards at people like they're candy but I'm one of the few people I know who I'd actually trust to manage one of these things.

And when I don't want to do something and then somebody tells me I can't do it... well dammit who are they to tell me that I can't have that thing I don't want!

I've applied for another dang one through my bank this time and in about a week I'll find out whether I get one or not** and when/if I receive it I will be able to hold it on high with a strange mingled feeling of victory/satisfaction/dread/resignation!

At least I'll be able to book my own concert tickets then.
Every time I ask Mum if I can use her card to book a ticket she wants to know all about the band and inevitably she ends up comparing them to Dethklok.
According to Mum all metal bands sound like Dethklok.
Who she thinks are cute.
I love my Mum.

*Gee I wonder why *coff global economic crisis coff*
**If my own bank knocks me back I will be so very cranky.


Erin Palette said...

I hope I don't sound all patrician here by saying "Well, in the States we have this thing where..."

But, well, most if not all of our banks offer debit cards tied to our checking accounts which are also branded with a credit imprint (usually Visa.) It isn't really a credit card, as the money is withdrawn from our account, but the little imprint allows for things as internet purchases, swiping the card at checkout, theft protection, etc.

If you can at all get one of these, do so. There's no interest (because there's no credit involved) yet you can still do things like reserve hotel rooms with them.

Rapscallion said...

Where'ya goin? Somewhere far far away?

I'm actually rather annoyed that my bank keeps wanting me to up my credit limit. As I am incredibly financially irresponsible & will buy any shiny thing from Azerbaijan with superduper express shipping.
Ya can't win can you?

Ricochet said...

Erin Palette: You don't but I love that you used the word 'patrician' :-)
Those cards are definitely an option, I just had a minor panic attack envisioning myself having to spend nights on the streets of foreign cities fighting off possibly bilingual hobos and they didn't register on the "Come se dice 'get your own doorway' bitch?" plan I was scrabbling together :-b

Rapscallion: Italy with my newly rediscovered - or at least newly rediscovered poor grasp of - Italian skills. I'm really looking forward to it in my own 'holy crap argh' way. I'm just like that.

Ah banks, they startle us with their infinite wisdom. And their scarily upbeat staff. Both of the two people I spoke to the other day were laughing the whole conversation as if I was the funniest person they'd ever spoken to. Now I'm pretty good but I can't help but suspect their performance reviews might have been coming up...