to have told the bank staff that I thought it was irresponsible to offer me a credit card?

(55 Posts)
CatONineTails Wed 03-Oct-12 16:06:25

I'm a single mum of two, currently on benefits. Money is tight but we manage and I am thankful that I have avoided any kind of debt.

Every time for the last year (once a month on average) that I have used the counter service of my bank, the cashier has asked me if I would be interested in a credit card. Every time, I say the same thing - "No thanks, I'm not in a position to take on any debt right now"

Today, when I gave that answer, she said "But I see from your statement that you shop online, and doing so with your debit card leaves you very vulnerable to fraud. You'd be much better off using a credit card"

I pointed out, politely, that if she was viewing my online statement she could see that my only income is state benefits and that I thought constantly offering me a credit card was somewhat irresponsible of the bank (not her personally and I made that clear).

She insisted it was not at all irresponsible and that she HAD to offer hmm and that using a debit card online was very dangerous. I said that as I understand it, credit cards are not more intrinsically secure than debit cards though they do have more buyer protection if fraud happens (but that wasn't what she was telling me!), but that I still didn't want one as my financial situation is not going to be improved by taking on debt!

She then went on telling me I should be very very careful when shopping online as I am 'wide open to fraud' using my Visa Debit card - which I think is misrepresentative of her!

So... AIBU to think banks should not be pushing credit cards on people who are on benefits!

CatONineTails Wed 03-Oct-12 20:02:12

I actually think its pretty rude to suggest I can't manage my money or am adding to the blame shifting! I can manage my money fine - its hard to make it stretch, but it is manageable mainly because I was taught by my parents how to do things like budget, and cook from scratch, and mend clothes, and so on. I don't have any debt. None. Because I understand that when you can hardly make ends meet on your income, borrowing money will just push the problem further down the line. Its not a solution that works long term.

Not everyone can manage that though - benefits are very low, they are paid at a level below what is considered by many to be the 'poverty line' for UK living standards.

Yes, people have to take responsibility for their own debt but do you really think that banks should be encouraging them to see taking on debt as a solution and telling them they would be 'better off' by doing so? Credit should not be suggested to the poorest in society so banks can get fat off the interest angry

CelineMcBean Wed 03-Oct-12 20:41:00

I think OP you'll find it is the likes of Pay Day loan companies, Provident and the many other shameless bastards who exploit the poorest of our society. They do this exactly because the banks do NOT think those people are worthy of cheap credit. Better an unused or well managed credit card at 18% then a loan between 400-9000% surely?

I think you're ire is misplaced. Are you actually reading the posts on the thread because you don't seem to be responding but rather repeating the same thing? You can manage your money, you have been offered a product suitable for those who manage their money from an organisation that is heavily regulated. If you were unable to manage your money or the terms were similar to those of companies who actively target the poorest in our society then you would have a point. But in this case you are getting all worked up about a none issue.

HaveALittleFaith Wed 03-Oct-12 20:47:17

I don't think yabu. The cashier has a point about credit card security but to be honest, I understand that of you're in a tight budget you can either afford it in that moment or you can't. The delay before you can pay the credit card bill (even if you do it so you don't accrue interest) leaves me uncomfortable. I have one - I rarely use it.

I was in a similar position when I was a student on a bursary and had a mortgage. I managed but I couldn't take on any more. The bank kept sending me letters through offering me loans between £4-22k! In the end I rang them and said they should stop sending them until I was in full time employment because I was in no position to pay back such a loan! The letters did stop. Maybe you should ask them to put a note on your account? Or say oh by the way, before you offer, no I don't want s credit card! before they offer!

discrete Wed 03-Oct-12 20:56:57

But having a credit card to buy things online with does not mean you have to take on debt.

I have had credit cards for the last 20 years or so and have never once incurred debt using them. I just pay them off in full every month (by direct debit, so I can't forget to do it) and that's the end of that. I spend exactly what I would spend using a debit card and no more, but get a bit more protection in case something goes wrong with an internet purchase.

IwanttoflyonA380 Thu 04-Oct-12 12:28:35

When I went in my bank last time. I was offered perchance protection card. I asked is it a credit card was told know. It is a card for buying things online. After I asked a load more question I decided it was a credit card. I had already said first off I didn't want a credit card..
I do think something SHOULD be done to stop them misleading custermers

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