Application Process to Get a Credit Card
Credit cards are a major part of everyone’s financial lives. But many people struggle to use them in safe and smart ways. Suppose you want to get your first best credit card for no credit history. In that case, it’s crucial to arm yourself with information about how the application process works—and what you can do to maximize your chances of approval.
Select the right card
You can move on to the application process when you’ve chosen the right credit card.
The first thing to do is make sure you are eligible for the card and then choose your preferred payment method. You’ll generally have several options: debit card, virtual account number or credit cards with no cash advance fee.
If you have bad credit or haven’t had a card before, you must select one from a reputable company. If possible, avoid cards that offer an introductory rate of 0% APR because these promotional offers often expire within six months and revert to high-interest rates of 25%-35%.
Get your credit in shape
Get your credit in shape. Before applying for a credit card, ensure that you are in the best financial shape possible. You’ll want to pay off any outstanding debts and set up a budget so that you can effectively track how much money is coming in and going out of your bank account each month.
It would be best if you also did everything possible to keep your personal information secure—keep it somewhere safe, don’t give it out unnecessarily, etc.—since this will help prevent anyone from stealing your identity or making unauthorized purchases.
Assess any fees
- Look at the annual fee. It can be a percentage of your total balance or a flat dollar amount, which is usually assessed yearly.
- Check the interest rate. The APR (annual percentage rate) is how much money you’ll pay in interest for using this card, and it’s calculated on an annual basis.
- Consider other fees as well — some cards charge transaction fees for things like using their balance transfer program or cash advances, while others assess late payment fees if you miss a payment by more than five days (though this practice is on its way out).
- Take note of what you’re being offered: Is there any marketing value to this card? Is there an introductory offer that makes it worthwhile? Does opening this credit card open up other opportunities for rewards?
Calculate your income
You’ll need to use your most recent pay stub to determine your income. If you don’t have a pay stub, use last year’s tax return instead. If that doesn’t work, use last year’s W-2.
Prepare to submit the application
You must have all the information you need to complete the application. This includes:
- Proof of income, such as pay stubs or bank statements.
- A copy of your credit report (you can get this from any one of the three major credit bureaus—Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion).
- A list of all your debts, including card balances and monthly payments.
As per financial planners like SoFi, “Applicants under the age of 21 who can’t show independent income generally must get a cosigner.”
A credit card is a great way to get your finances in shape and build credit. With proper planning and research, you can apply for one today!