Insufficient credit where credit’s due.

I can’t remember the last time I was truly frustrated.

Well, sorta. That’s a turn of phrase. I’m not frustrated right as I type this, but only because an hour or two has let that frustration dissipate a little. The merest little though. It’s simmering under the skin, deep there. In the subcutaneous layer, that’s where my frustration lies. It’s moored in feeling incapable of doing something that should be all too easy. Reaching for something just beyond the aether and feeling the pain of stretching so far in vain.

I just want to buy tickets back to New Zealand for my girlfriend and I.

That’s not a massive demand, right? People do that sort of thing every day. It falls in line with everything capitalism has taught us, that if we want something, we work for it. Then when we’ve worked sufficiently, we can get that thing. Not so far, sonny. It turns out I’ve got a credit limit on my card. $2000 max. Buying the two tickets would cost $2700. As we can see, that’s over my credit limit. What’s a guy to do? Well I applied online to get my credit limit adjusted to $4000 so I’d be able to buy the cards. It said they’d let me know within one working day. One working day passed and I hadn’t heard anything back.

I went into a President’s Choice branch. More accurately, I went to the supermarket, ’cause that’s where my bank lives. Will I one day regret going with a bank because they were linked with Loblaws supermarkets and, as an Arrested Development fan, Bob Loblaw’s Shop More sounded too good to pass up? Quite possibly. The staff told me they couldn’t do anything for me, but I could use their phone to call Mastercard. I did.

Mastercard let me know that my credit limit increase application had been denied. I asked them why. They said that I hadn’t met the criteria. I asked them what the criteria was. They said my credit score was insufficient. I asked them what my credit score was. They said they couldn’t tell me. I asked them how I’d get a good credit score. They said by paying bills on time, quickly, by paying them in full, by keeping my balance below the credit limit. I asked them if, according to my account information, they could see any examples of late payment, insufficient payment, going over or even approaching my credit limit. They said no, that according to their information I’d always paid on time, in full, that I basically never went over 25%-50% usage. I asked, once again, what the reason then was that my credit score was insufficient. Had I not spent enough in the past two years? Nope, not a problem, apparently. I asked if there was any chance of putting abundant money (say put an additional $1000) into the account then being able to pay the cost in full, since there’d be enough funds? Nope, I wouldn’t be able to spend more than $2000.

I asked them then, how would I be able to buy tickets for this plane flight online? It’s not a matter of needing the credit limit because I have insufficient funds. I can easily afford the tickets (which they could see from looking at my savings), but I need it accessible on a credit card because that’s the way online purchasing works. It wouldn’t let me input my debit card. They said that they could check with their manager to see if I could get a temporary credit increase. Now we were getting somewhere.

Nope, no dice. My credit score did not meet the criteria. So I have the money to purchase something, but I’m hamstrung by the system and incapable of spending it.

They gave me the phone numbers of Canada’s credit unions. They said to call and see why my credit score was where it was (still incapable of telling me what it was). They said to then call back Mastercard’s credit team once I had a tacit answer. They wished me luck.

Too bad it’s labour weekend and everything’s closed. So not only am I frustrated, but I can’t do anything with that frustration until Tuesday. So here’s to stewing in it for the next three days.

Happy Holidays, I guess.


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