A credit card can be an essential tool to ensure your financial freedom. It is also beneficial in building your credit. Most credit cards can provide you rewards, including points or miles on the items you purchase. Getting and opening your first credit card can be an overwhelming task. This article will guide you on how to apply for a credit card.
Application Process for a Credit Card
Applying for your first credit card can be an overwhelming task. Opening your first credit card is an important financial milestone. The following is a guide on how to apply for a credit card.
Prepare the basic requirements
Ensure that you’re 18 or 21 years old with a verifiable income source or with your parents’ permission. It is also essential to get a Social Security number to make a credit history.
As you apply for a credit card, you will be asked about your monthly income. So, you must have an income source to repay your credit card. It is also an advantage to have a positive credit history. In case you don’t have a credit history, you can prefer a secured credit card. The secured credit card needs deposit into a bank account before opening the account.
Applying for a credit card
The first thing in the application is to get a credit card that suits your needs. You can choose among cards with low APRs, those which offer rewards for excellent credit, or cards that have fair or limited credit.
As you apply for your credit card, you will be asked for information including:
- Social Security Number
- Housing situation
- Gross annual income
- Time at your current residence
- Date and your signature
Optional components to keep in mind when applying for a credit card
The following are some optional fields during the application process.
Keep in mind that authorized users are not considered cosigners. You’re responsible for the payments with your account.
Balances to transfer
In case your card may allow balance transfers, you can request to transfer balances from other credit cards to your new card. If you opt for a balance transfer, you need:
- Account number
- Creditor name
- Payment address
- Transfer amount
Remember that you may not transfer balances from accounts with a similar bank. Additionally, the bank can let you transfer the portion of your requested balance.
There we go, application for a credit card is easy and quick. If you have an online application, you can get an instant decision or be contacted after a few days. On the other hand, if you have a paper application, it may take one or two processes. Once you get your credit cards, you can be using them to earn rewards, establish credit, pay off debt, and other daily transactions.
Find the Right Card for You
How Long Does it Take to Get a Credit Card?
Usually, getting your credit card can take about 7 to 10 business days to be delivered to you. However, it only takes a few minutes for the approval process for mobile or online applications.
There are also circumstances that it may take longer if you apply for a credit card that needs excellent credit. Thus, the card issuer will review your application to provide correct information and view your credit history.
Credit card approval
Getting your credit card approved may take a few business days before you get your physical card. It is now easier to get your credit card approved through online applications.
If you’re approved for your credit card, your card will be mailed to you. You can use it to pay your bills or make purchases. Keep in mind that the mailing period may vary based on the card issuer.
Credit Score Needed for Credit Card?
Most credit cards need good to excellent credit. A qualified FICO credit score is 679 or higher, while VantageScore requires 700 or higher.
Calculation of Credit Scores
Your credit score can be calculated with several factors, including your payment history, length of your credit history, the debt amount, and credit mix.
Credit cards options if you have bad credit
You can choose between secured and unsecured cards. If you have bad credit, it is advisable to get secured cards. With secured cards, you may be required to pay a deposit to the card issuer. These cards possess less risk for lenders. Additionally, it also comes with easy approval.
Credit cards if you have fair credit
As your credit score improves, you can have many credit card options. One of these options includes retail credit cards. These cards come with higher APRs and lower credit lines.
Credit cards for good or excellent credit
If you have good or excellent credit, you can have lots of credit card choices from major issuers such as Chase and Discover, and American Express. You can get rewards-related cards.
What to do after getting accepted for a credit card
After getting accepted for a credit card, you can consider the following.
Get information about promotions
If the card comes with promotional benefits, get to know about the sign-up bonuses and more.
Take advantage of rewards programs
Rewards programs among credit cards are not created equal. So, you must be knowledgeable about the rewards program provided by your credit card.
Avoid interest charges
Make sure to pay your statement balance monthly to avoid interest charges with your purchases.
Maximize the perks of your credit card
Take note that credit cards come with various perks. These perks include travel insurance, insurance protection for car rentals, purchase protection, and more.
Keep your card safe
It is also important to keep your card in a safe place. With this, you can protect it from loss or theft.
Understand the responsible use of your credit card
As you get your new credit card, make sure to understand the responsible use of it to prevent problems in the future. Make sure to pay your bills at the right time to avoid charges.
Applying for a credit card is now easy with online applications. Meanwhile, the application process may depend on the card issuer. With the help of this post, we hope that you have an idea of how to apply for your credit card successfully.