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Credit cards for pensioners and retirees
Want to get a credit card when you're on a pension or retired? Compare your options here and learn how to apply.
You can apply for most credit cards when you’re on a pension, retired or a senior citizen – provided you meet the card’s application requirements. The credit card issuer may ask you for additional documents, details about your income and other financial circumstances.
Here we look at the criteria you need to meet, and the documents you need have to improve your chances of approval. We also look at how to compare different credit cards so you can find one that fits with your plans.
Is it harder to get a credit card as a pensioner?
New Zealand credit card companies use the same lending criteria for all applications, whether you’re a pensioner, retiree or a full-time worker. New Zealand banks you can apply with include ANZ, Gem and Westpac.
Two main factors providers may look at when assessing your ability to make repayments and keep the account in good standing are whether you have a steady income and your current age.
Application requirements for people who are retired or on a pension
Banks and credit card providers don’t offer credit cards designed especially for retirees or pensioners. However, you still need to meet the standard eligibility criteria. These are:
- Be a New Zealand citizen or permanent resident.
- Be at least 18 years of age.
- Have a good credit rating.
- Have a regular income with the ability to meet repayments. For pensioners or the retired, this may include Work and Income payments or Superannuation payments.
Individual banks may have specific requirements you need to meet before you can get a credit card. If this is the case, they will contact you to request further information.
If you have questions or want to check any details, you can contact the credit card provider directly to discuss whether you’re eligible based on your financial situation and type of income.
What documentation do you need to supply?
When applying for a credit card, you need to supply personal information and documentation. This still applies if you are retired or a pensioner. It helps to have these details to hand before you start the application process.
The details required usually include:
- Proof of identity. Proof of your identity could include your driver’s licence or passport. If you have a SuperGold card (with a photo), you need to contact the individual bank to see if they accept it as identity proof.
- Personal details. Your full name, residential address and contact details.
- Income. You need to provide evidence of your income, this includes Work and Income payments, and your assets, for example, investment property or shares. You are also required to list your regular expenses, such as bills, mortgage payments, personal loans, groceries and other essentials. You may also have to provide read-only copies of your bank statements.
What else should I do before applying for a credit card?
If you want to get a new credit card during retirement, the following these steps may help you find and apply for one that’s right for you.
1. Compare different credit cards
There are a variety of credit cards that suit specific needs. For example, if you want to pay off an existing credit card debt with little or no interest, you could consider transferring the amount to a low or 0% balance transfer credit card. Or maybe you want to spend and save with a card offering 0% interest rates on purchases for an introductory period. You can also find cards with low-income requirements if you’re worried about meeting this requirement or $0 annual fees if you want to keep costs low. You should only apply for one credit card at a time, so it’s important to spend time researching and finding the right one before submitting your application.
2. Check your credit score
While application requirements vary, it is harder to get a credit card if you have a bad credit history. Some credit cards include specific requirements around this. For example, a card may state that you must not currently be bankrupt or need to have a good credit score to apply.
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