Getting approved for a credit card requires filling out a simple application. But if you’ve never had one, your credit history is limited, or you have a low credit score, it can be challenging. You can, however, plan ahead to increase your odds of approval. Here’s a look at how, plus an overview of the application process.
Know Your Credit Standing
Check your FICO score before getting a new credit card. If you don’t have one, you can get an estimate of your credit score at CreditKarma or CreditSesame. It is totally free, as is checking your credit report at AnnualCreditReport.com. For credit cards you have, check whether your monthly statement provides your FICO score. The prime credit score range is between 660 and 720, while a score of 701 to 759 is considered good.
If necessary, take steps to improve your credit. You can increase your credit score by making payments on time, lowering your balances on credit cards, and by not taking on new debt. If necessary, make a plan to pay down existing balances.
Getting a Credit Card
Before you actually apply, think about the best approach for you. In doing so, you want to:
- Decide what type of card to get: The most practical cards have low or no annual fees as well as low interest rates. Retail credit cards are another option, which are often more flexible about approval but tend to have higher interest rates. If you have no credit history, you might qualify for a secured credit card, for which a cash deposit is required.
- Find the right offer: Credit card companies entice customers with various types of offers. These may include balance transfer credit cards, which are helpful in consolidating debt (you may get a limited time zero-interest offer). Rewards, cash back, airline miles, and signup bonuses are other offers to look for.
- Consider offers carefully: Rather than applying for the first offer you see, choose carefully based on your needs and expectations, and ask creditors about their requirements. If you have bad credit, consider cards for this purpose that, over time, might improve your chances of qualifying for approval.
A basic credit card application, which can often be completed online, includes relevant personal details like your phone number, date of birth, and social security number. It will also ask about your gross annual income, monthly housing payment, and how long you’ve lived at your current residence. Much of the information provided is used for identity verification and to prevent fraud.
A credit card requires a dated signature. You can also add authorized users and, depending on the card, request a balance transfer directly on the application. Credit card applications are generally straightforward. Online applications are often evaluated instantly or you may wait a few days, while it can take a week or two to process a paper application.
What Happens If I Am Denied?
Getting denied for a credit card isn’t fun, but rejections aren’t that uncommon. You might get accepted for a different one later. Proceed carefully when submitting additional applications, as this can hurt your credit score. Or, you can check your credit and work on making any necessary improvements.
Need Credit Repair? Contact Us Today
Errors and negative information can leave a mark on your credit report when there is a solution. The dispute letter process is often not effective. At American Credit, we use a pre-litigation process to achieve a higher success rate. Call 855-732-7276 today for a free credit repair consultation.