Aldrin Borromeo (not his real name), a middle-aged health provider from Asia, is eager to buy a laptop which he hopes to use on a regular basis.
But the problem is that he doesn’t have enough cash to get the item he liked. Lured by an advertisement, he tried to visit one of the big shopping stores which happens to offer applications for credit cards. At the electronics section, a petite store clerk assisted him at once at the counter to see if he qualifies.
Then, she asked his name, social security number, driver’s license, latest address and telephone number. Last but not least, he also provided his gross monthly salary to the clerk. A few minutes later, the clerk told him that he needs a co-applicant to qualify. As if a cold water dowsed his face. He then retrieved his driver’s license and told the store clerk that he would be back to bring in the co-applicant. But deep inside, he felt frustrated.
A couple of days later, a letter from Chase came by telling him that the reason why he was turned down was that his credit history wasn’t good. Meaning, he hasn’t established yet a good credit standing in the community. If he could only tell the credit card company that he’s not that type of person who is used to using plastic money to buy goods. In the U.S. and other western countries, the individuals who have logged in with the heaviest debts are the ones possibly to be approved for credit cards.
This is not the case in some Asian countries, where those with clean credit records get approved immediately. Sounds a little bit weird, but this is reality in some financial markets where the use of the plastic money is a practice that dates back many decades back. According to bankers, it is the safest and convenient way to shop around without the risk of being robbed at gunpoint during unguarded moments.
But with social security number given, nobody is certain if he is safe or not from identity thieves lurking behind computer screens, However, it would have been more riskier if he had divulged his bank account number, when he filled up the application form at the store.
Despite the credit card delinquencies in the past, big store chains are still determined to issue credit cards to unsuspecting customers, in partnership with credit card companies. Although this negative development is overshadowed by loan defaults and foreclosures in the housing sector, the American Bankers Association said in a published report recently.