I work part time or have a low income

  • You work part time, perhaps as a carer
  • You have a low income - as low as £6,000 - £8,000 per year
  • You have not taken out any credit before because you're not sure you can afford it
  • You need to stretch a family budget


Vanquis Bank - Helping You?

Take control of the situation: learn more about how credit affects you if you're on a low income or are a part time worker and how you can change it.

How income can affect your ability to get a card?

If you have a low income or work part time, although this may not affect the possibility of getting a credit card, it may well have an impact on the credit limit you’re offered, depending on exactly what your wages are or the alternative income you have.

The credit limit you are offered is not based on a multiple of your wages although obviously your ability to afford the probable debt repayments is important. So how do lenders define “low income”?

The Office for National Statistics' Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE) suggests that the UK “median” average gross annual earnings across all types of full-time employment is £27,000 (for the year ending 5 April 2013). That varies across different regions of the country, of course, but anything below that and you could be considered to be a low income applicant by some lenders. Before you apply make sure you can afford the credit and assess whether the credit product is right for you.

How you're credit scored?

Because each lender has different criteria, how important your salary or wages are in determining whether you get a credit card and what your credit limit might be does vary.

When you apply for a credit card you are credit scored. This will look at your previous credit history including things like outstanding debts on other cards, loans, or bank overdrafts, available credit (the amount of debt that you could have if you used all the credit available to you) and whether you've ever missed or been late in making repayments.

Why you could be turned down?

For many lenders, you could be turned down because you are unable to prove regular or high enough earnings that suggest to the lender that you’d have problems affording the credit.

You’re likely to be turned down if you have persistently adverse information on your Credit Report showing that you have been late in making payments or missed them altogether. You will almost certainly be turned down by many lenders for having defaults, County Court Judgments and Bankruptcies on your credit record.

How to get back on the path to good credit?

It costs £2 to check your own Credit Report using Internet-based services like Credit Expert. This will show you the information about you that lenders see.

If you don’t have email or access to a computer, you can write to the Credit Reference Agency which must reply to you in seven working days. If the information is wrong you can demand that it is changed or removed (see How to Check Credit Score: A Guide for more details).

Vanquis Bank - looking out for you

A good start to making sure you can get a credit card on a low income is to ensure that your credit report is accurate and demonstrates you manage your finances responsibly.

For some lenders, a year or two of positive detail on your Credit Report will go a long way to improving your score and your credit risk, so make sure you pay bills regularly and on time.

Build or Rebuild your credit with a Vanquis Credit Card

  • Manageable starting Credit Limit of between £150 and £1,000^.
  • You could get a Credit Limit increase after your 5th statement and further increases every 5 months, up to £4,000*^
  • Exclusively UK based Customer Service.
  • Online account servicing & SMS alerts.


To build your credit rating and be considered for credit limit increases, use your card sensibly, stay within your credit limit and pay your monthly minimum payment on time. Not doing so could harm your credit rating and make obtaining credit more difficult.

Representative 39.9% APR (variable)

World Vanquis Credit Card with slant mirror effect