Want to build a solid credit history? Then it’s time to get the tips on how to apply for a credit card. The credit card offers the easiest way that would last a lifetime. However, applying for a credit card and getting approved is not very easy as it sounds. If you have a limited credit history or you have not owned a credit card before, it can be a daunting task getting a bank that will give you a trial.
Also, a poor or bad credit history would only worsen your chances of getting approval when you apply for a credit card. Therefore, there is a need to have a good knowledge of your credit score, and income and debts before applying for a card that best suits your profile.
The following are the necessary steps on how to apply for a credit card and get approved;
- Be convalescent with your credit score
- Continuous checking of your actual credit score
- Work on your credit
- Restrain yourself from the first offer
- Supply all your income when applying
- Continue trying
Be Convalescent With Your Credit Score
Your credit score to a great extent determines whether your application would get approved or not. In case you don’t have a credit card, sites such as CreditSesame and CreditKarma would allow you to access an estimate of your credit score free of charge. Note that these scores you get on these sites are estimates but they give an idea of your standing.
Also, it is not enough knowing your credit score or the estimates, you need to know the meaning of your score and if it qualifies you for a credit card.
Banks are not the same regarding approvals but usually, if you want to know how to apply for a credit card, you must have a grasp of how the scores are rated.
|300 – 629
|630 – 689
|690 – 719
|720 and above
So, the higher the credit scores, the brighter the chances of getting approved. However, you might want to delay your application if you do not have a good credit history. Besides, consider applying for secured cards or cards meant for people having bad credit if your credit history is poor.
Continuous Checking Of Your Actual Credit Report
With your credit score, it’s also important to get a copy of the actual credit report. A free copy of this can be gotten via these credit reporting agencies – Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion for free once yearly.
Visit AnnualCreditReport.com, supply all the required information and you would get a free copy of your report. If the report is accurate, that’s fine but if there are discrepancies, do all that is needed to correct it immediately.
Work On Your Credit
- Doing the following would help you improve your credit and get you approved on time;
- Let all payment be prompt and timely
- Maintain a low balance on your current credit cards
- Desist from new debts
About 30% of your credit score is influenced by your current debts. Having high credit card balances can be damaging. Your balance divided by the credit limit ought to be less than 30% on each of the cards. For instance, having a credit limit of $20,000, it’s advised to maintain the balance at less than $6,000
Also, to improve your credit, you need to bring down credit utilization by drafting out a plan to pay down an existing balance as soon as possible.
Restrain Yourself From The First Offer
Do not apply for cards that have lucrative bonuses and heavy sign-up bonuses if you have bad credit. Why? It’s because each credit card application temporarily affects the credit report. However, you might want to try making use of tools online to pre-qualify.
Also, get in touch with the issuer and inquire about other requirements. Interestingly, you could make use of good cards to assist people with bad credit. This can boost your chances of qualifying for reward cards over time.
Besides, you might get approval making use of a secured credit card – this makes use of a cash deposit paid on arrival to get the line of credit secured. Some secured cards give flexible deposit amounts, cash rewards, and the possibility of upgrading to an unsecured card (thereby getting back your deposit)
Supply All Your Income When Applying
Credit scores are usually an indicator of creditworthiness but do not reflect income. So, the card issuers make use of your income in getting your debt-to-income ratio – this helps to know if you would be able to make a payment or not.
Every other money you earn outside your full-time job should be included when applying. However, you must be aged 21 or above so that you can also include income from a partner (spouse), and other household income on your card application form.
Besides, do not over-quote your income. Anytime the issuer discovers that supplied false details on your application, you could be charged, and convicted for fraud. However, being unemployed is not an outright disqualification from getting a credit card.
This is the last tip in knowing how to apply for a credit card. If after you’ve done everything right and your application is still denied, do not worry because you could call the issuer and request for reconsideration. Under the law, you have the right to know why you’ve been denied. Also, you could visit AnnualCreditReport.com to see if your credit history has been tainted.
Let the issuer know why you need the card and that you are fiscally responsible. Be polite all through the conversation because the customer service representative would respond positively to a courteous attitude.
Getting to know how to apply for a credit card would help eliminate all the bottlenecks associated with getting approval for your card. – This if not looked into will affect your credit score and also a psychological challenge.
Therefore, it is recommended for one to be in charge of your credit situation before thinking of how to apply for a credit card. Ensure you supply all relevant information when applying and have a strong reason for you to be approved if your application was turned down.
Are you now well-informed on how to apply for a credit card? So, with the steps highlighted above, you can be on your way to securing a good credit score faster than you expect.