Providian Question

Discussion in 'Credit Talk' started by Doris K., Mar 19, 2000.

  1. Doris K.

    Doris K. Well-Known Member

    I've not had a Providian Visa in quite some time, and I wasn't too thrilled with them when I did have one.

    For the longest time, I read lots of posts trashing Providian really hard. Lately, however, I've read so many positive things about them on this board. Just out of curiosity, have they finally shaped up and improved the way they do business?

    I understand that Providian is opening a huge customer service center here in Texas this year. They must be growing substantially. Hopefully, they've gotten better.
  2. Barry N

    Barry N Guest


    You are right. I have heard that San Antonio is going to be the location of that customer service/payment processing center. Personally, I think the reason Providian has gotten better is all the legal actions that were taken up with them in last 2 years. It has forced a better accountablility in their payment processing department and service. That is a given. Even though many of the law suits are still in litigation, I feel Providian is one of the better sub-prime card choices.

    The Provdian - CCB Comparison

    One major difference between Providian Financial and Cross Country Bank, is that Providian, is in fact one of the "Big" players in the finacial world. In fact they are one of the largest consumer loan banks in the U.S. Sub-Prime credit cards are just a small percentage of their portfolio. Cross Country Bank is nothing more than a sub-prime lender. Period.

    My personal experience tells it all. I Started in Oct 98 with a $500 limit card with Providian. This month it was upgraded to the non-subprime Gold Card, with a $6,000 limit. I can find another sub-prime card that has matched that progression.

    As far as you are concerned Doris, with your credit score, I would not bother with the sub-prime version. Get their Platinum Aria Card... it has a nice 0% intro APR. And also as a little side note... I bet many of you who have visited had no idea that you were visiting a Providian Financial site.


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  3. David

    David Well-Known Member

    I was told by a Providian Supervisor their gold card was only a minor upgrade of the silver card they offer. Gold, as told to me, still included 23.99 apr and no grace period.

    You've come a long way in a short time, Barry. Would you mind telling how, in some 15 months, you increased your credit limit to more than $5000 of the original credit limit? Did you fund some of your new $6000 credit limit with a security deposit, as many Providian customers are able to do?
  4. David

    David Well-Known Member

    Another point. Providian, with their builder credit cards (to my knowledge), never asks what your income level is or job status. This was the case, at least, when I got my preapproved offer for a card.

    Barry, concerning the increases of your credit line, were you asked to supply any income earnings or job info - either before or after you received your card in October 1998?
  5. J. Edgar

    J. Edgar Well-Known Member

    Just goes to show what a couple of class action lawsuits, a federal investigation and a heap of bad publicity can accomplish.

    First USA seems to have shaped up also, but they are still carrying the stigma of Chevy Chase FSB along with them and there are still a number of lawsuits pending from Chevy Chase.
  6. Barry N

    Barry N Guest

    J. Edgar,

    What is the background of the Chevy Chase/ First USA lawsuits? It sounds like interesting reading.

    Speaking of First USA, the single most enlightening revelation about them is located at this URL:

    If you think Providian is bad... read it and weep.


  7. BOB

    BOB Guest

    We have a providian gold card, we started with $500 in april of 98, and just got our
    gold card in feb of this year. it's still
    at 23.99%. Our limit is $5000. We have
    been very happy with them. I became disabled
    in 1996 and was forced to retire on disability. We had alot of medical bills
    some in collections and we chose not to file
    bk. Providian took a chance on us and it's
    been good for both of us. Even though i'm
    disabled I now have a cap. one mc and of all
    things my wife got a CCB visa which she was forced to cancel after they made a mistake
    and admitted it was there fault, but made her pay for the fees incured by there mistake. But anyway Providian has changed
    alot from what I have read here concerning there past. there rate is alittle higher
    than most but we have had no problem with
    them at all. Hope this helps answer your
    question Doris.
  8. Barry N

    Barry N Guest


    My Providian is a Provdian Visa, not the Aria. And yes the rate is still high, but I now have a grace period and the benefits. I was never asked about any income levels, but I do know that they have run promotional inquiries on my Experian files, which means, they are checking my scores from time to time. I have been working on restoration for about 18 months, and I can tell you the score has risen. To my amazement I had over 14 negatives in my files, and now only one remains on the Experian. Being patient, and working on thoe credit reports has alot to do with the steady increases in limits.

    Also, I do use the card, and carry about a 40% of LOC balance. I am determined to be a good customer, using it helps. Remember, if you are in the sub-prime world, we need to use these cards to prove we can be good customers/risks. As we do, along with resolving old debt issues, errors in our credit files, and being good stewards of our money(no bouncing checks etc.)... our scores will climb. And finally we can put these sub-prime cards to bed, forever. That's the brass ring.

    One thing I can tell you. After talking with hundereds of people about credit and credit cards, I deduce that there is no ryhme or reason why one person gets this or that while another doesn't. So I am motivated soley on the hope that there are chances out there to improve my situation. I suggest you all do the same.

    Good Luck,

  9. J. Edgar

    J. Edgar Well-Known Member


    Take a look at this URL:

    and this one:
  10. creditwork

    creditwork Well-Known Member

    I have had a Providian account for over a year. They have not sent me any good offers, so I have not used it. That is probably why I do not have a problem with them. I will not use a card with an interest rate higher than 20%. I still keep the card in the hope they will offer me a teaser rate, I would love to invest the $11,000+ line.
  11. ALS

    ALS Guest

    I was also upgraded to the Gold Card. Did you get a lower interest rate? I think I should have at least gotten a lower rate - what do you think? Should I call and ask?
  12. curiouser

    curiouser Well-Known Member

    I've had a Providian Platinum (not Aria) card for about a year now. It started with a 9.9% teaser and now the interest is about 20% (I don't carry balances on this card so I don't pay much attention to the APR.)

    I haven't had any problems with them, but I am not considered a sub-prime customer. The only "issue" I have had with them was my fault. I neglected to notify them that I was going to Europe on vacation. I put a lot of charges on the account, including last minute plane tickets for an unexpected side trip. They froze my account because of unusually high activity. However once I called them and verified that I was making the charges, they released the credit immediately.
  13. Barry N

    Barry N Guest

    I would call and ask for a lower riate. Mine is still the same. I plan on asking for the lower rate.

    And after reading the terms over again, I see that I still do not have the grace period. Thats the pits, you have to get a platinum to get the grace period. By then I will be wellout of the Provdian type cards.

    Yes, David you were right about the grace period. Glad you caught, I researched it more thouroghly.


  14. ALS

    ALS Guest

    Do you know of anyone that has actually gotten a lower rate? I think I am going to call and see what they say, I can't keep paying $50/month in interest!!! Have you heard of the Net 1 Card? I was thinking of going for it with the 0% interest (not intro rate either), but I am worried about forking over $88 for processing.
  15. ALS

    ALS Guest

    I called and they can't lower it, it is the lowest they can give me at this point! I have got to find a card I can do a balance transfer to, but I can't get approved with anyone!!!
  16. Darrel

    Darrel Guest


    I have the Aria Visa from Providian. I called Aria and asked for a rate reduction. The CSR and a supervisor said no. I then asked to close my account. The CSR said she'd switch me to the proper department. Another woman came on the phone and asked why I wanted to close the account. I told her that another card offered me 17.9 percent.

    She then cut my Aria rate from 23.99 percent to 16.99 percent.

    I then tried to negotiate the end to the annual fee or a reduction. She wouldn't budge on those issues.

    I'd bet I'd have gotten my wish had I complained a little closer to the date on which they charge the annual fee.

    My record was perfect with Aria, but I'd had the account only 6 months when they cut the interest rate. I figured they gave me a good deal.

    Honestly, though, the interest rate on low-limit cards in general doesn't matter all that much if you pay your balances in full each month or pay close to the balance.

    It will, however, make at least an incremental difference with Aria because of its lack of a grace period.

    Be prepared for them to call your bluff if you threaten to cancel the card. I didn't really need it and so wouldn't have been affected had they not granted the reduction and canceled the card.

    If Providian is your only card, and if you need a good trade line, perhaps you should think about keeping it for its credit-building utility.

    One thing I'll say about Providian is that, despite the nightmare stories you hear, they do report to the bureaus and they will work to keep your business if you've been a good customer.
  17. Darrel

    Darrel Guest


    How bad (or good) is your credit?

    Have you viewed all three of your reports? Experian? TransUnion? Equifax?

    If one report is better than the other, you may have some luck applying to a bank that pulls only your best report.

    Go to and check out their list.

    Some people on this board have said that Aspire Visa ( has approval criteria that is liberal. According to these posters, the minimum line you can get is $1,750.

    The interest rate is usury -- on the order of 30 percent.

    If you answer the questions above, I might be able to give you a little better advice.
  18. ALS

    ALS Guest

    My credit is perfect, not one bad thing on it! The only problems I have with my card is going over limit a couple of times. I have had my card for 1 1/2 yrs. I've tried getting cards at banks to balance transfer but no one will give one to me. I have ordered my credit reports a couple of times and they are fine. Question: How long do inquiries stay on your report that banks and other financial institutions can see? The credit bureaus told me 2 yrs. for employment purposes, but do banks see all of those too? If not then in 6 months I can re-apply at my credit union and maybe "they can find a way to approve me"
  19. Darrel

    Darrel Guest

    "Perfect" credit is subject to interpretation by the bank to which you are applying. Each has its own subjective set of standards.

    How many accounts are reporting on your bureau reports?

    Are they revolving (credit card) accounts? Do you have an installment (auto loan) account?

    If you have three or four good trade lines on your report and have low balances in proportion to your credit lines, you should be able to get a decent credit card.

    But if you have only one or two trade lines with high balances, then you mission is going to be tougher.

    Have you been machine-gunning applications, especially in the past six months? If so, then creditors will shy away because you're signaling you're desperate for credit.

    A lot of inquiries in a short period of time is a red flag to many lenders.

    You may have to bite the bullet for six months or so, sorry to say.

    Most major banks want to see a track record over a couple of years. They also want to see stability at an address and some evidence of cash reserves: a checking and savings account, plus considerable time on the job.

    Your IP address suggests you may be in the military. If so, are you stationed in the United States? Do you have a street address as opposed to an APO?

    I know this isn't what you want to hear, but if you have very few trade lines, high balances, a lot of inquiries, little time at an address, a short job history and no cash reserves, you're probably going to have to wait things out.

    I wouldn't risk any more inquiries over the next six months if the situation I laid out is true. It will only delay your credit journey.

    Sorry if this seems a tad negative. I wish you only the best of luck.
  20. ALS

    ALS Guest

    I have 1 auto loan, 2 personal loans, 2 department store cards (only one is reporting so far, just got the other), 1 Visa, I have had a jewelry store card but it has been paid and closed in good standing, a mastercard paid and closed in good standing. I have a high balance on my Visa but the loans of course are installments and my department store varies (pay it off, charge it, pay it off, etc.) I have laid off the credit applications for a lower rate card but there are inquiries on there that I forgot about for when I was trying to buy my car, that is what messed me up yesturday at the credit union.

    ("Perfect" credit is subject to interpretation by the bank to which you are applying. Each has its own subjective set of standards.)
    That is true, but I guess what I meant was that I don't have ANY negatives on my report, no collections, judgements, late payments, bankruptcies, foreclosures, etc. All of my accounts are in good standing with the creditor and always have been.

    I have been at my job for 1 yr 8 mos. and at my current address for 1 yr 5 mos. Not a long time, but what can they expect, I'm only 20.

    I am going to wait 6 months and try again with my credit union, wish me luck.

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