Applying for a UK credir card for balance transfer when I live abroad?

Would really appreciate some advice on this if anyone can help

I moved out of the UK in 2018 and since then have been resident in a European country and pay tax there. I still have a bank account in the UK and a single credit card. I use the bank account to pay some professional subscriptions/ UK mobile bill, and transfer money in every few months. The credit card is used when I am travelling in the UK eg to hire a car, days out, and also when I need to pay for anything I have delivered from UK based online shopping. Credit card currently has about 3500 on it and is overpaid monthly from the money I transfer to the UK. Ideally I would like to pay this off. My accounts are registered at my parents address where I also have a postal vote arranged.

The interest on the credit card is creeping up and if I was in the UK I would be looking to transfer the balance to a 0% to pay off the credit balance a bit quicker. But - can I apply for a credit card in the UK when I am not resident? I apparently still have a good credit rating (does that matter?) and on a soft search would probably be accepted for several 0% interest cards - but is it legal to apply for one when I am resident abroad?
My financial probity is important as any issue may affect my ability to be employed in the UK in future, if we decide to return.




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Comments

  •  is it legal to apply for one when I am resident abroad? “
    That would depend on the rules of the credit provider…  if they ask your address & you provide a uk postal address, rather than your real one, that would be committing fraud. 
    All standard uk offerings will require a uk address. 

    You might even be contravening the rules of your current provider - so let things be (and use this as incentive to pay down your debt quickly before your current offering is withdrawn!)
  • km1500
    km1500 Posts: 2,120
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    yes I would agree - keep your head down and don't rock the boat

    meanwhile give some thought to a backup.plan on case your account is closed

    try and make a debit card transaction every so often in the UK
  • Grumpy_chap
    Grumpy_chap Posts: 14,458
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    Would really appreciate some advice on this if anyone can help

    I moved out of the UK in 2018 and since then have been resident in a European country and pay tax there. I still have a bank account in the UK and a single credit card. I use the bank account to pay some professional subscriptions/ UK mobile bill, and transfer money in every few months. The credit card is used when I am travelling in the UK eg to hire a car, days out, and also when I need to pay for anything I have delivered from UK based online shopping. Credit card currently has about 3500 on it and is overpaid monthly from the money I transfer to the UK. Ideally I would like to pay this off. My accounts are registered at my parents address where I also have a postal vote arranged.

    The interest on the credit card is creeping up and if I was in the UK I would be looking to transfer the balance to a 0% to pay off the credit balance a bit quicker. But - can I apply for a credit card in the UK when I am not resident? I apparently still have a good credit rating (does that matter?) and on a soft search would probably be accepted for several 0% interest cards - but is it legal to apply for one when I am resident abroad?
    My financial probity is important as any issue may affect my ability to be employed in the UK in future, if we decide to return.

    It seems as though you may be contravening the rules of the accounts you have at present by not updating your true address.  
    For any new application, you need to put your correct address.  That may or may not be accepted by a potential credit card provider.  Given you have retained finance products in the UK, your credit history abroad may be "thin" which may also have a negative impact on products available.

    Given that the move is long term, would it not be better to use this as a prompt to normalise everything to reflect the correct reality?
    I suspect retaining a postal vote registered at your parents address (where you do not reside) is also not entirely within the rules.
    Given the normal passage of time, you can expect there to be a point where your current parents' address is not available to use - that may be sooner than you think if they decide to downsize or retire to a different part of the country etc.  What do you plan to do at that time?  It would not be honest to then advise your "change of address" to wherever your parents move.

    Now is the time to normalise everything and arrange your affairs for the current and foreseeable reality.  Your  final comment about future return does not sound like an expected near-term change.
  • Grumpy - Im not sure if you have looked into the matter but retaining a postal or proxy vote as an overseas voter  100% within the rules if you are eligible (which I am), you can read the guidance on Gov. uk (voting if you move or live abroad) - I cant post a link as I havent been a registered user long enough
    This is connected with your last registered voting address which happens to be my parents house.  I will deal with any changes as they happen in the future, as the vote needs regularly renewed.   As with my financial probity, any  issues with the UK legal system could impact my ability to work there again in future so rhis is something well checked and established.

    The trouble with 'normalising to ones situation' is that realities are not always planned but evolve in response to changes - moving abroad was initally just for a period of a year or two with the intention of moving home again -  and at that time I had several other credit cards, a house in the UK that was rented, so all accounts were open and running with money transferred in from wages in my new land. Providers were informed I was abroad and some accounts had changes made  because of this but there was no issue with our stated intentions of 1-2 years abroad. We ended up staying longer than planned  so arranged for our house to be sold, all other debts/ credit cards paid off and closed, and money transfered to allow us to buy in our new land. Plans and the landscape they are made in have changed dramatically over the last few years - there was never a time when we had a blank slate type moment where we closed everything in the UK and transfered to our new land, it happened gradually as our situation evolved. This card had been left open as a convenience measure to allow us to easily make transactions, hire vehicles and so on in the UK over that period.

    At present our move is intended to be long term, perhaps 10-15 years, perhaps even permanent, but I would be remiss if I did not make plans for a future that involved moving back to the UK  - illness, caring needs of relatives, political changes, relationship changes could all happen. Examining what I can do about this 'hangover' credit card is part of 'arrange your affairs for the current and foreseeable reality'



  • “ is it legal to apply for one when I am resident abroad? “
    That would depend on the rules of the credit provider…  if they ask your address & you provide a uk postal address, rather than your real one, that would be committing fraud. 
    All standard uk offerings will require a uk address. 

    You might even be contravening the rules of your current provider - so let things be (and use this as incentive to pay down your debt quickly before your current offering is withdrawn!)
    It depends much more on the law of the country the OP is resident in and if the bank in question has a license to sell financial products to its residents. Remember it has to be the literal company not that it's a banking group and it has different entities that operate in both. 

    Obviously pre-Brexit, assuming the OP is in the EU, there were pass porting rules allowing EU member state companies to offer products in all EU member states however that went out the window for the UK and hence we are seeing all these ex-pats having their accounts closed. 

    The reality is most, if not all, UK banks haven't obtained licenses in Europe and so if you were to answer the questions honestly about your residency then you will be declined. Obviously if you are willing to commit fraud and claim you live with your parents then thats at your own risk. 
  • Will see if I can find any 0% option  could be opened with an address abroad - committing fraud is not an option.
    Otherwise I have to stick to my original plan and just pay it off, a little more slowly because of the current interest rates
    Luckily the exchange rate is working in my favour at the moment
  • eskbanker
    eskbanker Posts: 29,971
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    I moved out of the UK in 2018 and since then have been resident in a European country and pay tax there.
    Do you have access to any cost-effective credit facilities where you now live?
  • Earlier this year, I was working with a very well known High Street Bank (subsidiary division) to attempt to determine the possibility of lending facilities being advanced to a client, whom at the time, had a postal address of his parents but worked and lived full time Overseas.

    Needless to say, the proposal was not submitted for lending consideration as he technically did not reside in the UK and therefore a 'true and accurate' credit history could not be obtained.

    It would have potentially fallen under the Crime and Thefts Act by way of obtaining credit through deception - amounting to fraud.
    Save £12k in 2023 challenge #32
    Saved Total = £12,000 / £12,000
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    Saved Total = £1,184.85 / £5,000

    Secured/Unsecured loans x 0
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    Creation FS Retail Account x 1
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  • Will see if I can find any 0% option  could be opened with an address abroad - committing fraud is not an option.
    Otherwise I have to stick to my original plan and just pay it off, a little more slowly because of the current interest rates
    Luckily the exchange rate is working in my favour at the moment
    Could you not explore a low rate personal loan or if applicable in your country a 'money transfer' credit card/facility to pay off the UK credit card and potentially close that account down.

    I've read on here before that some big high street banks can allow customers to have accounts across multiple countries, such as HSBC due to being positioned in multiple countries but that would be a discussion with the bank directly to ascertain the details of this.
    Save £12k in 2023 challenge #32
    Saved Total = £12,000 / £12,000
    Save £5k in 2024 challenge #32
    Saved Total = £1,184.85 / £5,000

    Secured/Unsecured loans x 0
    Credit Cards x 6 (total limit £24,250)
    Creation FS Retail Account x 1
    0% Overdraft x 1 (£250)
    Mortgage x £140,250
    Debt = £1,014 (0%APR due 22nd July 2024)

    Charity fundraising goal for 2024 = £1,000 for animal rehoming / dog fostering etc
  • Lots of thanks to all for advice. I can easily get credit in my new country, but have no plans to fall into having and using a number of credit cards again. The idea behind getting a new uk card/0% offer was simply to speed up the pay off of the few thousand remaining, but clearly this is not an option, so I just have to change my priorities and send a bit more money across until it has been paid off at the current interest rates. Luckily earnings and current exchange rate make this possible.

     We have moved from living with credit cards/loans to being debt free apart from mortgage in our new life since we moved abroad, so getting rid of this last credit line is the final step. I will look into travel friendly options such as a credit card from my bank here for future trips, and payments within the UK can in the future be made using my bank account as an overseas customer
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