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My first credit card experience

I applied for my first credit card at my own risk – I could not know exactly if I will succeed or not. All the information I had is that the card is for “average credit” and the description of average credit suited my situation – I was a newcomer with a clean credit history.

So I just submitted an application on a website with a thought that it is easy to get credit card. During the application I was asked about my family annual income, my expenses for a house rent, my occupation and college degree, SSN and birth date. It was instant approval credit card.

Then it took a couple of minutes for a program to crunch the numbers and give me a confirmation that my credit card application was approved. My first credit limit was the bare minimum – about $500, but I needed a card not to get money – I had some, but to start building my credit history.

Than in approximately 5 business days I got a mail from a bank with my credit card and instructions how to activate it. The activation process is made by phone – on a credit card you have a sticker with a notice that you can activate the card by the phone or in any ATM. Activation process by the phone took me only several minutes – you need to type your SSN, date of birth and card number on your phone. Finally the card was activated and I could use it.

Then my wife applied for the same bank’s credit card and got hers in the same 5 days. But on the third day after she started to use the card she got a denial in one of transactions in a grocery store. When she went online to check the balance she realized that her credit card was suspended and credit limit was frozen.

After several calls to the bank we knew that the suspension was because of the fraud suspicion.  The bank asked us to send copies of SSN, ID, address and family income. That was tough –  the bank accepts copies only by fax or by mail (not e-mail). And they fax machine was not working properly – we kept sending them copies of documents three times and every time they said that they didn’t get a good copy. Finally we used a web fax service, the bank got what he wanted and the card was resumed.



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