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Applying for a Credit Card in ER
Old 10-03-2007, 03:41 PM   #1
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Applying for a Credit Card in ER

Given the amount of international travel I will be doing, I am considering opening up a Capital One credit card (no foreign exchange fee). I am a bit concerned about applying in early retirement. Any advice?



PS I am also looking at a new internet bank solution. I am looking at Bank of Internet USA, Everbank and HSBC. I was with Netbank. Now that ING has taken over the deposits, I expect my international ATM transactions will be subject to a 3% fee.


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Old 10-03-2007, 03:58 PM   #2
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I applied for a credit card in March and there was no problem; I live on a small pension.

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Old 10-03-2007, 04:02 PM   #3
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If you are wondering how to describe your employment status -- or lack thereof -- you might check out this thread on "am I self employed, unemployed or retired":

(I remember it well because one poster, KCowan?, said he referred to himself as a "private client portfolio manager" and for income indicated the increase in value of his portfolio for the past year. Brilliant! I've used this myself since...and it works.)
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Old 10-03-2007, 04:02 PM   #4
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Oliver, if the CC issuers limited their product to only those who could repay, they'd go out of business! You'll have no problem getting a new card.
Numbers is hard.

Retired in 2005 at age 58, no pension

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Old 10-03-2007, 04:06 PM   #5
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Indicating "retired" will do fine...and indicate income that you can document....although most will not ask for documentation....few like amex will do only if they find something fishy and do a financial review, which would include letting them look at your tax returns...
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Old 10-03-2007, 04:16 PM   #6
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Hmmmm. We opened a Bank of America account a few years after we had been retired and got their Visa. I don't remember there being any problems. We almost ALWAYS simply state "retired" when required to give employment status. I'm still in my 40s. It has not caused problems.

LOL - at the time I was more concerned about establishing the new bank account before my physical address changed (became an RV fulltimer), so I didn't even worry about the "retired" thing.

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Old 10-03-2007, 06:28 PM   #7
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I originally had problems with PenFed. They wanted copies of tax returns and supporting documents. If I had applied a few months before retirement, I'm sure there would have been no problem.

To make a long story short, I told them to shove it. Later when checking my cd balance with them, a message appeared on their website that I was approved for a credit card(3 times the limit I asked for) and auto loans if I wanted it. Go figure.

Good luck.
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Old 10-03-2007, 08:07 PM   #8
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I guess I just never thought about it being a problem. I am newly retired but my credit is excellent and my FICO is 832. It never occurred to me that anyone would turn me down. Guess I will find out as time goes by.
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Old 10-04-2007, 07:18 AM   #9
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Occasionally you read about credit cards being issued to dogs and dead people, so I'd think "retired" would squeeze by.
Yes, I have achieved work / life balance.
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Old 10-04-2007, 07:57 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by travelover View Post
Occasionally you read about credit cards being issued to dogs and dead people, so I'd think "retired" would squeeze by.
I was turned down again and again when applying for a credit card during the first year or two after my divorce, so I guess divorce is worse than being a dog or dead? . At the same time, my nineteen year old college student daughter who couldn't even balance her checking account was getting offers in the mail, daily.

I tried for a Sears card, and even tried to finance a $350 mattress at a bedding store. No luck. So, I got mad and stopped applying.

Four years after my divorce I had accumulated enough for 20% down on my house, and I had no problem at all getting a mortgage. That fixed my credit quickly, but now I don't care because I have no desire for a credit card any more. They can shove them where the sun don't shine (or whatever that expression is).
"You can never cross the ocean until you have the courage to lose sight of the shore." - - - C. Columbus
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Old 10-04-2007, 03:13 PM   #11
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Yep, no prob getting a credit card in FIREhood for me either. On one application I said retired. On an application for a business card I was completely truthful and reported that my side business earned me only a few hundred bucks over the last year, and it was still approved.

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