Applying for a credit card doesn’t mean you will get approved right away. Getting rejected after applying for a credit card can be detrimental for your credit score. However, with the right information, you might be able to avoid getting rejected altogether, repeal a credit card issuer’s initial decision, and learn what to do next time to get approved!
Before you start doing your research on how to apply for a credit card online or from your local bank branch, see what it takes to get approved. Continue reading to learn how to submit a credit card application.
How to Get a Credit Card
Regardless of you’re interested in a business credit card, balance-transfer card, low-interest credit card, cash-back credit card or other type of rewards credit card, the basic requirements for getting approved is the same. Simply follow the step-by-step guide on how to apply for a credit card to increase your chances of getting credit approval, and refer to this credit score chart to find out where you rank in the world of credit.
|740 to 799||Very Good|
|670 to 739||Good|
|580 to 669||Fair|
|579 and lower||Poor|
Here is how you can apply for a credit card in five easy steps:
1. Check Your Credit Score
Just like any other credit based product, your credit score will affect your approval for a credit card, so it is good to know what your score is before you fill out a credit card application. Knowing your score will save you time and avoid getting a unnecessary hit to your credit report. There are plenty of services online or from your credit card company that will allow you to get a free credit score.
Once you do know what your credit score is, it will be a lot easier to apply for credit cards because you already know what you don’t qualify for. There are cards that you can apply for even if you have bad credit, though you will be limited in your choices. When your score is bordering the line between two score ranges, try to improve your score before going through the application process.
2. Improve Your Credit Score
Once you know your credit score, you can figure out if you are ready to apply for a credit card or if you need to improve your credit score first to get the card you want. If your credit score does need some help, focus on paying of any debts you have first. Debt elimination can help tremendously lower yoru credit utilization rate, which can impact up to 30 percent of your credit score.
Credit utilization rate is your total amount of debt divided by your total amount of available credit. Let’s take a look at this example, if you have $5,000 of debt and $10,000 in available credit, this make your credit utilization rate at 50 percent, which is higher than the recommended total credit utilization rate of below 30 percent. Paying off $2,500 of this debt can improve your rate to 25 percent, which could boost your credit score.
3. Research Your Options
Credit card offers can really fill up your inbox unnecessarily, and they are not always the best options for your financial needs and goals either. Definitely do your research when looing for the best credit cards you can get with your credit score.
For example, if you’re looking for a card that ca n reward you for your grocery purchases, it wouldn’t make sense for you to apply for a travel rewards card. Check out the highest rated credit card and find out the details on the cards that you’re interested in. Take note of the card’s credit score requirement, the card’s APR, its annual fee and whether or not it has rewards program.
If you decide to go for a prepaid credit card, in other words a card that requires a security deposit, this might be the best option for you if you have low credit. Normally, these card are easier to get and will allow you to build into a positive credit history. Some card issuers will even upgrade users to a traditional credit card after a positive payment history of 12 months.
4. Include All Your Income
A common reason that most people are rejected for credit cards is because they didn’t include all forms of their income. Income isn’t just he money that you make from your job, it includes money you made through a part-time job, a small business or a freelance project you’ve been doing on the side.
Also, your spouse’s income counts as yours as well if it is considered accessible household income. Remember to report your gross income, not just your net income. Reporting your gross income means that you should report everything dollar you make before taxes and deductions, not just the money you put into your bank account every period.
5. Call the Reconsideration Line
You have the option of applying for a credit card online or in person, it can take nearly 14 days to have your application approved. Instant approval credit cards, however, provide you with decision right away, and you will get your new credit card and and terms within five to seven days.
If you don’t get approved, try calling the company’s reconsideration line. Doign this can help you better understand why your application was rejected and it gives you a chance to defend your case to a real person, not a computer.
The last thing to consider once you follow all the steps we have listed above on how to apply for a credit card is how many you should apply for. Do keep in mind that although it is easier to apply for credit cards online, you should be careful because your FICO score or credit score can get hurt if you don’t get approved. For more posts like this, check out our list of bank guides and credit card bonuses!