Is it common to ask for a personal reference when applying for credit?

Yesterday, while applying for a payment plan with vendor, they asked me for a personal reference. It has been a long time since I last applied for any credit and I don’t recall this being done. I was surprised and unprepared. I don’t even know any of my friends’ phone numbers or addresses by heart.

Is this a common part of applying for credit? I can’t even imagine why they would need this. They had my SS#, a credit card and my drivers license.

I just bought a car and had to supply 2 references. Both were called by the bank that offered me the financing too.

What is a personal reference in regards to credit? They call my grandma to see if I pay my bills?

I always just assumed it would be to have another point of contact in case you defaulted and moved with no forwarding address. Most people won’t just cut all contact with someone they would use for a reference.

Yep, it’s so they have one more way to get in touch with you if you drop off their radar, intentionally or unintentionally.