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Applying for 1st Credit Card - Great Credit Score, But Thin File

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soxiezsoxiez Forumite
17 posts
Fifth Anniversary 10 Posts Combo Breaker

Hi all

With all this free time suddenly on our hands I thought I would do something productive and look into opening my first credit card. I don’t ‘need’ one, but it’s been on my to do list for a while to build credit and have extra protection for buying things like flights. Step one to this was checking my credit score, and due to having next had much in the way of credit before, I was expecting a pretty poor score. I was shocked to find out my Experian score is 999, although I have a pretty thin file.

From there, I did a soft search eligibility checker on the MSE Credit Club on an array of credit cards and found I had a ‘100% chance’ of being accepted to a virgin money 0% spending card.

However the John Lewis partnership one appeals to me more (vouchers!), though the only issue with this is that JL are not on soft search eligibility checkers - the only way to get an inkling of if i’ll get accepted is by applying.

I know my credit score is very good, however with it being a thin file i.e not really much data on me to look at, is applying for the John Lewis one too much of a risk? Should I just apply for the Virgin one that seems I should have no problems getting accepted into? I don’t want to hurt my credit score by being applying for JL and getting rejected.

For context, I’m 28, single, currently living with my parents and due to redundancy 6 months ago along with loss of work again due to Covid 19, my income has taken a hit. It is over both the thresholds for each card, however.

Apologies if this post seems like a mountain out a molehill, I’m completely new to this so appreciate any advice.

Replies

  • D3xt3r5L4bD3xt3r5L4b Forumite
    451 posts
    100 Posts Second Anniversary Name Dropper
    ✭✭
    Your score plays not part in any lending decisions as only you see it (and should pay it no attention). 
    Apply for whichever card you wish and if declined, maybe try for one other and then leave it 2-3 months before trying again 
  • DobbibillDobbibill Forumite, Board Guide
    3.9K posts
    Sixth Anniversary 1,000 Posts Mortgage-free Glee! Name Dropper
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    No one can give you any guarantees. Apply for which ever one you would like. There will always be a chance of being declined depending on the lenders criteria. You can do another application if this one isn't successful.
    999 may be Experian's score for you - Experian don't provide credit cards though - so as above take little/no notice of your score.
    I'm a Board Guide on the Energy, Student Money Saving, UK Armed Forces and
    Local Money Saving - Wales boards. I'm a volunteer to help the boards run smoothly, and I can move and merge posts there.
    Board guides are not moderators and don't read every post. If you spot an abusive or illegal post then please report it to [email protected]. Any views are mine and not the official line of MoneySavingExpert.com.

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    It's about being better than you were yesterday.
  • born_againborn_again Forumite
    2.8K posts
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    You can but try.
    Why not look at who you bank with now?
  • soxiezsoxiez Forumite
    17 posts
    Fifth Anniversary 10 Posts Combo Breaker
    You can but try.
    Why not look at who you bank with now?
    I'm with Barclays but got 0% likelihood of being accepted by one of their cards, the only one that showed up in the analysis. I thought that strange but staying away from them for now.
  • soxiezsoxiez Forumite
    17 posts
    Fifth Anniversary 10 Posts Combo Breaker
    Your score plays not part in any lending decisions as only you see it (and should pay it no attention). 
    Apply for whichever card you wish and if declined, maybe try for one other and then leave it 2-3 months before trying again 
    Thanks - so if I'm disregarding my credit score, I have practically no history so I suppose the 'better' card may be out of reach. I may still try and like you said, give it a few months between applications so there's not loads of hard searches on my record. Thank you!
  • soxiezsoxiez Forumite
    17 posts
    Fifth Anniversary 10 Posts Combo Breaker
    Dobbibill said:
    No one can give you any guarantees. Apply for which ever one you would like. There will always be a chance of being declined depending on the lenders criteria. You can do another application if this one isn't successful.
    999 may be Experian's score for you - Experian don't provide credit cards though - so as above take little/no notice of your score.
    I realise nothing is 100%, but it's reassuring to have an indication for a total newbie like myself. Will likely go for the lesser card to be on the safe side. Thank you for your advice!
  • D3xt3r5L4bD3xt3r5L4b Forumite
    451 posts
    100 Posts Second Anniversary Name Dropper
    ✭✭
    soxiez said:
    Dobbibill said:
    No one can give you any guarantees. Apply for which ever one you would like. There will always be a chance of being declined depending on the lenders criteria. You can do another application if this one isn't successful.
    999 may be Experian's score for you - Experian don't provide credit cards though - so as above take little/no notice of your score.
    I realise nothing is 100%, but it's reassuring to have an indication for a total newbie like myself. Will likely go for the lesser card to be on the safe side. Thank you for your advice!
    It's not a reassuring indication at all.
    It's misleading, at best
  • cymruchriscymruchris Forumite
    486 posts
    100 Posts Third Anniversary Name Dropper Photogenic
    ✭✭
    On the general eligibility checkers such as credit club, totally money, credit karma etc - I was given between a 0 and 10 percent chance of getting a Virgin credit card. I filled in the Virgin own eligibility checker directly on their website last night and was approved straight away, application completed, and I imagine the card will be on the way shortly. Eligibility checkers are useful - but don't always trust them completely. If you don't have any significant negative markers such as late payments, ccj's, defaults or bankrupcties - try for any card you want - they might say yes they might say no - if they say no - wait a couple of months and try another provider. 
    An ex-bankrupt on a journey of recovery. Feel free to send me a DM reference credit building credit cards from the usual suspects :) Happy to help others going through what I've been through!
  • born_againborn_again Forumite
    2.8K posts
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    soxiez said:
    You can but try.
    Why not look at who you bank with now?
    I'm with Barclays but got 0% likelihood of being accepted by one of their cards, the only one that showed up in the analysis. I thought that strange but staying away from them for now.
    Who said you have 0% chance, Not MSE Credit Club, I hope.
    Just remember that if you apply via that MSE get a kick back. So it is possible that they only show one's that offer referrals. 

    Try Barclays own checker.
  • Mr87Mr87 Forumite
    122 posts
    100 Posts Name Dropper
    The virgin cards tend to have a long 0% for the first few weeks of spending, so you might be better off waiting for a big ticket item e.g. Holiday before applying. Use the card, save the cash to pay it off (and bank the interest), pay minimum amounts and then pay it all off in a lump before the 0% expires.
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