Eligibility Checkers – Pinch of salt


Just a bit of background…..

My credit history is blemished. I had an issue with British Gas back in 2016 when I moved to a new address and it took months and months to finally get a final bill from them. Unknown to me during that time, they had been recording late payments for six months and also a default on the gas account but not the electric (go figure?)

Anyway, as soon as I managed to get the final bill in my hands (four months of hounding them) I paid it completely. They refused to remove any markers.

So, this left a nasty mark on my credit history making it difficult to get any kind of credit. Prior to this, my repayment history was immaculate.

Fast forward…. I have a Barclaycard (had this for a couple of years prior to this issue) and used to have a Halifax card until last year when they decided to close it due to the above. Sine then the only cards I have been able to get are Marbles, Capital One and Vanquis to help improve my credit profile.

Every eligibility checker for me always shows just subprime cards ranging from 60% to guaranteed acceptance.

Last year I bit the bullet and applied for a HSBC dual card with no expectation of being accepted. To my surprise, I was albeit with only a 1.8k limit. Still it was something.

Since the British Gas thing, my payments continue to be made on time, paid in full apart from the 0% HSBC card and a balance I have been paying down on the Barclaycard. The only blemish on my report being British Gas.

Recently, both Marbles and Vanquis decided to increase my credit limits and also last month Barclaycard increased by £4000.

Going back a year or so, I applied for a Nationwide Flex Account and Credit Card at the same time. I was refused the credit card and was given only a Basic Account. Last month I asked if they would upgrade it but they wouldn’t. I don’t need the account as I have my main current account elsewhere but it would have been nice for the 5%

So today, I check and the pre-qualifiers and as usual all I have shown are the sub-prime cards, Aqua, Vanquis etc. Feeling brave, I decided to apply for the Nationwide Card…. I passed the pre-qualification and submitted for the full check, thinking I would be declined but hey presto….. approved for £12k!!! So I have transferred my Barclaycard balance to this new card at 0%.

It just goes to show that you shouldn’t always rely on the pre-qualify checkers. They are really just a rough guide. Sometimes you just have to bite the bullet and gauge your own credit history.

I am pleased as punch to say the least. The 0% HSBC and new 0% Nationwide card will be paid off within 12 months and I will be saving around £500 in the interest alone from what I was paying Barclaycard plus what I am saving on the HSBC card.



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