Can I get a credit card with no credit record?

Annie Shaw / 22 June 2016

Annie Shaw helps someone who is struggling to get a credit card because they have been living abroad and have no credit record in the UK.


My husband and I have recently returned to the UK after living in Spain for more than 15 years, and we are finding it impossible to get a credit card because we have no credit record in this country. 

It is really annoying not to be able to shop online. Can you suggest what we can do?

Five mistakes that could be ruining your credit report.


If you have been making multiple applications for cards you need to stop, because you are damaging your chances of future success. Multiple refusals make you appear to banks’ appraisal systems like a potential fraudster or someone desperate for credit.

Your first move to establish your credentials is to ensure you are on the electoral roll. Then, if you have a bank account, you could approach your branch and discuss whether they will help you to get a card.

You could also search on the internet for cards advertised as being for ‘poor credit history’ or ‘impaired credit’. These cards will not offer the best rates and may have a low credit limit, but if you obtain one and use it regularly and responsibly you will build up your credit history so that you can apply for a better one in a year or two. 

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