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    • bonyma
    • By bonyma 4th Jul 18, 12:48 PM
    • 4Posts
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    bonyma
    Aqua card rejection
    • #1
    • 4th Jul 18, 12:48 PM
    Aqua card rejection 4th Jul 18 at 12:48 PM
    Hi all,


    I moved to the UK about 1.5 years ago from continental Europe and recently I started looking into a cashback credit cards, mainly to:
    1- get cashback
    2- build a credit history


    After some reasearch I decided to go for the Aqua cashback card because it was supposedly easier to get for people with a limited (or bad) credit history and because of the lack of fees for foreign transactions.

    To my surprise, my application was rejected. I was surprised because I have no bad credit history (actually, I have no credit history at all, I never asked for a loan or something like that) and because in theory I should have a good financial situation (annual income before tax around 45k, single, no mortgage).
    I thought that something might have gone wrong because of my limited address history in the UK (only 1.5 years), so I called Aqua and to my surprise I was told that the rejection was not due to address history, but because I have an high income and usually they give the card to people with different financial situations (e.g. bad credits). The person I spoke to on the phone even told me something like: Aqua cards are usually for bad credit, why would you need it if you have that kind of income?


    Now I admit that it's the first time that I have to deal with the UK credit system, so my first question question is: does this make sense at all?

    If it is true that some credit cards like Aqua are given only to people with bad credit, then what should I do? Do I have more chances if I apply for an Amex cashback? Or should I just take the credit card that my bank (HSBC) already offered me? Of course I wouldn't like this too much, because HSBC card doesn't have cashback.


    I foresee that some of you might suggest me to first check with credit score websites, but the problem is that all of those that I tried using ask me for at least 3 years of UK address history (even MSE credit club), which I don't have, so it looks like I can't know my credit score.



    Thanks.
Page 1
    • Gary_Dexter
    • By Gary_Dexter 4th Jul 18, 1:34 PM
    • 1,487 Posts
    • 847 Thanks
    Gary_Dexter
    • #2
    • 4th Jul 18, 1:34 PM
    • #2
    • 4th Jul 18, 1:34 PM
    You were rejected for the card because of the minimum address history - how did this surprise you?

    Try some eligibility checkers first and see what results you get before making a full application

    Also you don't need to know your credit score or rating as it's made up by the CRAs
    • zx81
    • By zx81 4th Jul 18, 1:41 PM
    • 17,713 Posts
    • 18,837 Thanks
    zx81
    • #3
    • 4th Jul 18, 1:41 PM
    • #3
    • 4th Jul 18, 1:41 PM
    Aqua have tightened up on UK residency time frames. 18 months may not cut it any more.

    IF HSBC had offered you something, I wold take that as a starting point and move on from there.
    • madvicker
    • By madvicker 4th Jul 18, 1:51 PM
    • 51 Posts
    • 32 Thanks
    madvicker
    • #4
    • 4th Jul 18, 1:51 PM
    • #4
    • 4th Jul 18, 1:51 PM
    Without the 3 year address history it is more difficult to apply for and get any form of credit online. Best thing to do would be to apply over the phone or in branch. And yes, Aqua will have an income limit where unless you have a poor credit history they will automatically decline. Best to apply with a mainstream lender - they also have products for people with limited (but not necessarily bad) credit history.

    Edit: It's unlikely you'll get a cashback card as your first credit card - best to accept any card until you've built up at least 1-2 years of credit history.
    • bonyma
    • By bonyma 4th Jul 18, 2:20 PM
    • 4 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    bonyma
    • #5
    • 4th Jul 18, 2:20 PM
    • #5
    • 4th Jul 18, 2:20 PM
    You were rejected for the card because of the minimum address history - how did this surprise you?

    Try some eligibility checkers first and see what results you get before making a full application

    Also you don't need to know your credit score or rating as it's made up by the CRAs
    Originally posted by Gary_Dexter
    Aqua have tightened up on UK residency time frames. 18 months may not cut it any more.

    IF HSBC had offered you something, I wold take that as a starting point and move on from there.
    Originally posted by zx81

    I don't know if I explained it correctly in my first post, but, before applying I asked Aqua "can I apply even if I have a limited UK address history?" and the answer was yes. In the FAQ of Aqua I can also find "I have been living in the UK only a short while. Can I apply? Yes, you can apply. At aqua we treat every application individually and take a closer look at your situation to see if we can help, even if you have only recently moved to the UK"


    Finally, I also called them after I was rejected, and explicitly asked if that was because of my address history. The answer was "no, limited UK address history is not a problem, your income is too high".
    • bonyma
    • By bonyma 4th Jul 18, 2:31 PM
    • 4 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    bonyma
    • #6
    • 4th Jul 18, 2:31 PM
    • #6
    • 4th Jul 18, 2:31 PM
    Without the 3 year address history it is more difficult to apply for and get any form of credit online. Best thing to do would be to apply over the phone or in branch. And yes, Aqua will have an income limit where unless you have a poor credit history they will automatically decline. Best to apply with a mainstream lender - they also have products for people with limited (but not necessarily bad) credit history.

    Edit: It's unlikely you'll get a cashback card as your first credit card - best to accept any card until you've built up at least 1-2 years of credit history.
    Originally posted by madvicker
    Thank you.
    Since I know that my bank is already willing to give me a credit card, do you think that at this point I might as well try applying for an Amex and fall back to my bank if this fails as well? Or is there a chance that after these applications my bank as well might change the offer?
    • zx81
    • By zx81 4th Jul 18, 2:36 PM
    • 17,713 Posts
    • 18,837 Thanks
    zx81
    • #7
    • 4th Jul 18, 2:36 PM
    • #7
    • 4th Jul 18, 2:36 PM
    I don't know if I explained it correctly in my first post, but, before applying I asked Aqua "can I apply even if I have a limited UK address history?" and the answer was yes. In the FAQ of Aqua I can also find "I have been living in the UK only a short while. Can I apply? Yes, you can apply. At aqua we treat every application individually and take a closer look at your situation to see if we can help, even if you have only recently moved to the UK"
    Originally posted by bonyma
    That's correct. But it doesn't change the fact that they have tightened up on the residency criteria.
    • madvicker
    • By madvicker 4th Jul 18, 2:42 PM
    • 51 Posts
    • 32 Thanks
    madvicker
    • #8
    • 4th Jul 18, 2:42 PM
    • #8
    • 4th Jul 18, 2:42 PM
    Thank you.
    Since I know that my bank is already willing to give me a credit card, do you think that at this point I might as well try applying for an Amex and fall back to my bank if this fails as well? Or is there a chance that after these applications my bank as well might change the offer?
    Originally posted by bonyma
    HSBC is quite a risk averse lender, so it's a good sign if they are willing to offer you a credit card. Personally I would accept it, then apply for Amex in 6 months. Though there's nothing stopping you applying with Amex now. But it does depend how many credit applications you have made so far. I wouldn't exceed 3 applications in any rolling 6 month period. Unless you're going to be applying for a mortgage, where I wouldn't apply for anything in the 6 months before.
    • T-G-C
    • By T-G-C 4th Jul 18, 4:45 PM
    • 282 Posts
    • 103 Thanks
    T-G-C
    • #9
    • 4th Jul 18, 4:45 PM
    • #9
    • 4th Jul 18, 4:45 PM
    Given the fact that you've got little or no credit & fixed abode history, I would not act surprised that you were declined. Even those with the above can be refused, it depends on numerous different things.

    If HSBC haven't pre-approved you or otherwise given you any indication of acceptance, I would avoid applying, as having multiple hard searches and zero history shows lenders you're unable to obtain credit elsewhere...

    I can't see them directly declining you because of your income, as you pose less of a risk to them by having enough cash to afford the repayments on your card. However, I am not an expert with this sort of thing and so I could be wrong, as it is true that Aqua is targeted at a demographic of bad credit, not necessarily how much you earn a year however, although people tend to link the two together sometimes.

    I would aim a bit lower. Get a 59.9 APR Vanquis card (Google: Vanquis Origin Card) and you should almost certainly be accepted, subject to the usual checks. I know this because I had no credit history this time last year and now I've built up 12 months of solid green ticks, thanks to Vanquis being the only ones who gave me a first shot. I now have multiple cards and was accepted for my first semi-mainstream card last week, almost a year later from starting with nothing. I did have a solid address history though, so that did work in my favor with Vanquis.

    If you do start with Vanquis, it will probably be a limit of 200 - 250, but even I started at that. Be sensible, clear in full to avoid the interest and before you know it, you'll find it easier to be accepted elsewhere as time goes on. It does take time, so don't expect much improvement on the first 3 months or so.
    Last edited by T-G-C; 04-07-2018 at 4:47 PM.
    All advice provided is intended for guidance purposes only. For specialized debt advice, please contact either National Debtline or StepChange.
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