Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Anecdotal Evidence for the Win

Picked up my new credit card today. It's one of those backup cards, that don't actually cost you anything unless you carry a balance (and this one apparently allows you to actually deposit money into its linked account, creating a debit balance above what the bank is willing to lend you). I've had one of these forever, but only remember actually using it once, after graduation, when I moved out of the student dorm and needed quick cash for the deposit on a rental apartment. Yeah; that would have been summer of 2005.

Here's an interesting observation. Since there is no actual cost for having the card in a desk drawer somewhere, I figured I might as well raise the credit limit, to the maximum of what they'll give me. The previous limit had been set somewhere around 2006 or 2007, and my income's grown a bit since. It used to just be a matter of asking for it - the bank teller would bring up my account history, see how much money was coming in, and the software would calculate the pre-approved max limit.

Not so any more. Despite being a fiscally very responsible person with most of my financial business at the same bank and no history of payment troubles at all, I could not reset the credit limit right then and there. Any change now has to go through an actual credit approval board.

Overall, this is a good thing. It's not like I actually needed credit, and a layer of sanity checks at Estonia's large consumer-facing banks is healthy for the country.

1 comment:

Justin said...

Similar problem here. My company has a credit card with Swedbank, and it was due to expire. I emailed them to ask how to get a new card. Turns out they had to go to a credit review board and so on, and all this for a card with a 5,000 EEK limit. My company typically has 5-10x that amount in its Swedbank account.

They went from making credit too easy to obtain to making it way too hard.


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