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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

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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.
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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).
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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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