Older couple chatting outside in a park

Retirees denied credit cards: Responsible lending or discrimination?

Retirees say they're being unfairly denied credit, but the banking industry says it's just following the rules.

Published: 17 October 2022
  • national
  • 17 October 2022

Australian retirees continue to face hurdles getting access to credit cards, and say banks don't understand their circumstances or are preferring to lend to more profitable customers.

CHOICE has heard from several retirees and semi-retirees who have been denied credit, despite having income and assets they deem high enough to cover repayments. They believe age discrimination could be at play.

But the complaints sit against a background of increasing regulation that's forced financial institutions to be more careful about who they give credit cards to, and to do away with unsolicited credit-limit increases designed to encourage people to spend more.

Need to know

  • Retirees and semi-retirees tell CHOICE they've been denied access to credit cards they say they can afford.

  • Lenders may be choosing to give credit to spenders more likely to run up interest.

  • Advocates say banks and regulators should be more flexible and lend to seniors.