By: Harvey Jones | Updated: 18th April 2019.
Vanquis Bank specializes in lending to people who have been turned down for credit elsewhere. Its Aquis Credit Card can help you rebuild a damaged credit rating, or build a new one if you have never borrowed money before. If you stay within your credit limit and make your monthly minimum payment on time, you will show other lenders that you know how to manage your money, and can then apply for a card with a lower APR or extras such as rewards or 0% interest on purchases. However, if you rack up debts you cannot repay, the interest rolls up rapidly, and improper use could further damage your credit.
If your mission is to get your credit back on good footing, the Vanquis Aquis credit card could be an ally in that mission. With no annual fee and a manageable starting credit limit, this credit-builder card is simple and straightforward. The APR isn't among the highest, but it's still high enough that you should avoid carrying a balance.Read full review >
|Representative rate||29.8% APR (variable)|
|Purchase rate||29.8% p.a. (variable)|
|Based on borrowing||£1,000|
Beggars can’t be choosers. In an ideal world, we would all have squeaky clean credit records and be free to apply for 0% interest credit cards. Unfortunately, millions have run into financial difficulties and struggle to get any credit card at all. If you are in this position, the Vanquis Aquis Credit Card could help you build a good credit record and get back into the mainstream. If you rack up more debt, though, it could make a bad situation worse.
I’ve been a personal financial journalist for 30 years, writing for national newspapers, magazines and websites. I reported on the technology boom in the 1990s, and the subsequent bust. I covered the financial crisis, and the tentative recovery. Decades of writing about the big banks has taught me to be sceptical, to examine every pledge and promise, and look closely at the small print of their product offerings. I’m on the side of the consumer, alert to rip-offs while also keen to highlight top deals. There are plenty out there, if you know where to look.
The Vanquis Aquis Credit Card doesn’t offer bells and whistles such as 0% interest, cashback or rewards. You can get those later, once you have restored your credit rating.
If you’ve been rejected by mainstream credit card issuers, Vanquis Aquis could be a lifeline. Those with minor credit problems could get higher credit limits elsewhere, and one or two even offering 0% introductory rates on purchases or rewards points. Just beware the APRs. The Vanquis Aquis website quotes a representative rate at the lower end of credit-builder cards, but when I tried its eligibility checker I was offered a rate notably higher than the representative rate. And the maximum rates are … let’s just say they’re very very high.
When you apply for any form of borrowing, the provider will check your credit rating with one of the big credit reference agencies. This will highlight any missed payments, bankruptcy or county court judgments (CCJs) in the last six years. Vanquis will not turn you away simply because of your past, even if other credit card issuers have done so. However, it will probably charge you a higher APR, depending on how serious your problems were.
The eligibility check is pretty straightforward: you just provide basic information on your address history, employment status and annual income, total household income, rent, and other monthly commitments. Once you have a tentative offer, you may have to supply more information.
Vanquis Aquis is a solid credit repair card, but be warned: some applicants may be offered a frighteningly high APR. That is how the company makes its money. Unless you manage your borrowing carefully, you could run into further trouble. You should therefore aim to clear this card in full every single month. That way you can restore your credit profile without being stung by that hefty APR.
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