Vulnerable unemployed son able to get credit card!

Can someone explain how my 40 year old son was able to get a Virgin Money credit card recently.  He has mental health issues, lives in supported mental health accommodation, his only income is benefits which are all spent on his living expenses, mobile phone, broadband and utility bills.  He has recently become a compulsive spender in addition to his existing condition.  This is his first credit card, he has a bank account and has regularly been overdrawn.  I am appalled that such a vulnerable person can be approved and that he is now over £3000 in debt on his first statement.
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  • Brie
    Brie Posts: 9,345
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    Do you have any authority over his actions?  Can you talk to the bank about this and point out that it shouldn't have been done?  Even without any other issues I don't understand how it would be considered a good risk by a creditor when they no doubt can see that someone is constantly overdrawn.
    "Never retract, never explain, never apologise; get things done and let them howl.”
  • DullGreyGuy
    DullGreyGuy Posts: 9,184
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    What did he state on his application form re income and employment status?

    Regularly being overdrawn sounds like he is also paying it off (or someone else is), banks will only see he's using his existing credit reasonably as they won't see who's paying it off. 
  • born_again
    born_again Posts: 13,684
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    Can someone explain how my 40 year old son was able to get a Virgin Money credit card recently.  He has mental health issues, lives in supported mental health accommodation, his only income is benefits which are all spent on his living expenses, mobile phone, broadband and utility bills.  He has recently become a compulsive spender in addition to his existing condition.  This is his first credit card, he has a bank account and has regularly been overdrawn.  I am appalled that such a vulnerable person can be approved and that he is now over £3000 in debt on his first statement.
    While I understand your point.
    Unless bank have been told, they will not be aware.

    Does anyone have control over his finances & are aware he applied for a card?
    Life in the slow lane
  • grumbler
    grumbler Posts: 58,629
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    Well, is £3000 the credit limit? If so, there is no point in paying anything back to Virgin.  He will have a default in his credit history - good for him.
    It would be good if Virgin learned the lesson after loosing £3K, but this is unlikely to happen.
  • adamp87
    adamp87 Posts: 853
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    grumbler said:
    Well, is £3000 the credit limit? If so, there is no point in paying anything back to Virgin.  He will have a default in his credit history - good for him.
    It would be good if Virgin learned the lesson after loosing £3K, but this is unlikely to happen.
    Assuming the person was honest on their application form that would be fine.

    If the person is in control of their finances and has been less than truthful with their income/outgoings I don’t see how Virgin are to blame here?
  • Thank you all for your replies.  It’s difficult to communicate with my son at the moment as he is quite unwell.   I was not aware he’d applied for a card until he forwarded the email from Virgin stating he owed £3033 on his first month’s statement.  I haven’t seen the actual credit card statement so don’t know what the limit is but he did tell me he can’t use the card any more as he’s up to his limit.  I don’t know what information he gave on his application.  I’m appointee for his benefits and I transfer money to him daily and pay off his overdraft from his benefits.  It’s very stressful because he always wants more money than I’m willing to transfer.  I’ve researched other options regarding appointeeship but there’s nothing suitable.  
  • Unemployment benefits usually preclude credit but disability benefits don't. 

    He is well over the age of majority so whilst he may be vulnerable, is he mentally capable of concluding a contract?

    I have a bipolar friend who makes awful credit decisions and even when was given the chance at a clean slate via an IVA refused. 
  • grumbler
    grumbler Posts: 58,629
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    edited 13 November 2023 at 9:37PM
    adamp87 said:
    grumbler said:
    Well, is £3000 the credit limit? If so, there is no point in paying anything back to Virgin.  He will have a default in his credit history - good for him.
    It would be good if Virgin learned the lesson after loosing £3K, but this is unlikely to happen.
    If the person is in control of their finances and has been less than truthful with their income/outgoings I don’t see how Virgin are to blame here?
    That's what KYC exists for and that's why companies often ask for proofs if they can't verify the information by other means.

  • Sorry, forgive my ignorance but what is KYC?
  • grumbler
    grumbler Posts: 58,629
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