Looking for a card. Is all credit created equal?


I’m approaching 30 and have never really had any credit. I’m not sure if certain things count, for example overdrafts or accounts with insurance/mobile companies etc. Some of these have shown up on my credit reports in the past but I don’t know what the implications are.

I’ve generally just bought stuff outright and never got anything on finance. The one time (I think) I’ve used credit in recent years is when Paypal took £1.50 out of an unused bank account, taking me below 0. I had no idea as I was paperless, charges started racking up and I only figured it out when I went to close the account and they told me that first I had to clear the -£240 balance that had accumulated. I did this immediately. This was maybe two years ago. Otherwise I have nothing on my account that could be seen as a black mark because I’ve never had any credit that I could misuse.

Weirdly, during this time my credit score (I know I know, ignore it) was perfect. After closing it and moving house a couple of times, Noddle, Experian etc have wildly different ideas about my score and more importantly my credit card eligibility. Some pre-approve me for cards with fairly reasonable limits and some seem to think I only have a 60-70% chance of getting some of the cards for bad credit. The MSE eligibility calculator doesn’t think too highly of me, for example but a rival site tells me that I can take my pick of five or six cards.

Anyway, I want to at least be in a position where I can get a mortgage in a couple of years. I’ll need to start using credit though for when we do decide to move on. I was thinking of a cashback card, but I need to buy some furniture in the next couple of months. I can afford to buy the furniture outright but I thought it might be an idea to get a 0% purchase card and spread the cost of some of it out.

My question is whether certain types of credit look better on your account. Are there companies that could potentially look bad on your credit file, for example does a credit rebuilding card look worse than an American Express (I imagine American Express is top of the pile?) because of the implication that you’re using it to repair a bad image? I’d make the payments on the card no matter what, so I don’t think the APR matters all that much to me, and I’d prefer a card from the most reputable provider possible. To avoid too much of an impact on my file I’d also like to apply for one that I have a very good chance of getting. In addition, is there an average limit that I can expect on a first credit card?

Any help would be appreciated.



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