Credit Card for PhD Student

I have a PhD stipend from the government, called a Research Training Program (RTP - https://www.dese.gov.au/research-block-grants/research-train...) which is roughly $29K per year. I also have a $10K top-up scholarship.

I've applied for a couple of credit cards - ANZ Black and Commbank Gold - as I'm planning on getting married soon and thought it would be an great way to earn back on some of the expenses. Unfortunately I've been outright rejected thus far - it seems ANZ & CBA don't recognize scholarship income.
CBA Gold - https://www.ozbargain.com.au/node/648271
ANZ Black - https://www.ozbargain.com.au/node/656282

For CBA, I put the income category under "government payment" because it wasn't clear that it could fit into any other income.
They actually progressed my application, but required me to provide proof of centrelink payments (which of course I don't have) - but if I did for the same amount of $ as I'm currently earning, they'd approve my application. I find this bizarre that I could get a credit card for being on centrelink for the same income amount, but not for a stipend.

Any advice on navigating this system? Why they don't recognize this stable income? Do I need to push that it's a "stipend" and not a "scholarship"?
Has anyone else had luck with this?

Cheers,
Phota

Comments

  • +8

    Given that you've been rejected twice, you probably would want to hold on for a few more months before applying again. This means, you've already have had 2 credit checks on your credit report and your 3rd application would likely be rejected due to the previous 2 checks.

    — FA's of OZB, correct me if I'm wrong.

  • +4

    Unfortunately low income and rewards credit cards with bonus points don't tend to go hand in hand.

    Any Black card will be out of your price range due to the minimum credit limit ($15,000) being ~50% of your salary, which for a bank would be too big of a risk to take on.
    A platinum with $6k minimum credit may work - however most of these still have a minimum income of $45-$55k

    All i can suggest is to apply for the low hanging fruit (low bonus point schemes), the kogan black may work?

  • Get a crypto-backed debit card. Load the card up with your local fiat. Spend and get cashback in tokens. Convert the tokens to fiat and repeat.

    There is KYC but no credit checks.

  • Was going to say, credit limit (4k, 15k) a bit high for the income, not so much because they solely don't recognise the scholarship as income.

    but if I did for the same amount of $ as I'm currently earning, they'd approve my application. I find this bizarre that I could get a credit card for being on centrelink for the same income amount, but not for a stipend.

    How do you mean? Same two credit cards? Is this factual or you suspect this is the case?

    • How do you mean? Same two credit cards? Is this factual or you suspect this is the case?

      This is just referring to CBA. The card was conditionally approved, so yes factual. I just had to show centrelink payslips with the right income I had indicated. They wouldn't accept the uni payslips.

      • Can't really speak on behalf of CBA. I wonder if anything below affected the outcome:

        • ANZ rejected you before CBA rejected you.
        • How long you been receiving the stipend, and if there is a "contract end date"
        • Credit limit you applied? (Although they should not have conditionally approved you)

        ANZ said the same thing about the scholarship stipends?

        • ANZ rejected you before CBA rejected you.

          Yep - application periods didn't overlap, had about 2-3 weeks between applications & results. CBA first, then ANZ.

          How long you been receiving the stipend, and if there is a "contract end date"

          Receiving it for approaching 2 years now, end date will be in a year and 3 months.

          Credit limit you applied? (Although they should not have conditionally approved you)

          Lowest possible - I think CBA approved it for $1000 (I would have asked for $3000 I think).

          ANZ said the same thing about the scholarship stipends?

          Yeah sorta odd - the online application process immediately disqualified me, but they called me up today to discuss, and that also went nowhere. Fair enough!

  • +2

    From what I remember, when I was a PhD student, I was told that any income that is not taxable (which include RTP stipends and top-ups) are not eligible for obtaining credit. Centrelink is taxable, so they tend to accept it.

    I was still successful in getting an AMEX Essentials card with a 6k limit.

  • +3

    Anz Black used to be $75k income.
    I don't think they write it on the faq anymore but that's a guide. You're well short even if they recognised your government payments.

  • +2

    Are you doing any extra tutoring which is taxable ? I think you can contact a bank at the uni premises (if there is any) asking whether there is any special way to get a card

    • Worth considering! I might look into this possibility in the new year. Haven't taken on tutoring this year.

  • When I was a student, I was offered CBA Low Rate / Low Fee CC (no fee for Student).
    If you have no usual working income, very hard pressed to get the nice CC (earning high points etc)

  • +1

    I don't think you're getting a black card on $30k

  • what are you doing your PhD on?

    • Economics.

    • +3

      Materials physics!

      • +1

        Excellent field. Best of luck.

      • +1

        Yeah thats tight

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