How to Apply for a Credit Card

crfeatured8

credit card advice

CardRates.com Staff
By: CardRates.com Staff
Posted: June 26, 2015
Our personal finance experts dish out the most trusted credit card advice on the web, including juicy tips, tricks and secrets from inside the credit card industry.

While we are bombarded with credit card advertisements every day, these ads don’t always make it clear what you need to do to apply. If you’ve never applied for a card before, it can be intimidating to start the application process. Fortunately, it’s very easy to apply for a credit card and takes very little time.

1. Find the card you want

You have plenty of credit card options available, so it makes sense to spend a few minutes researching the right card before you apply. The internet has plenty of websites comparing the features of different cards.

First, narrow your search based on your credit score. If your score is high (700 or better), you’ll likely be able to apply for most cards. If your score is lower, check program details to see whether you’re likely to be approved.

From there, consider card rewards, a card’s interest rates and fees to find one that matches your needs.

2. Decide on the most convenient application method

Once you’ve found the perfect card, start the application process. Credit card companies offer a number of different ways for you to send in an application. Typically, people apply for credit cards over the phone, by mailing in a paper application or by submitting an application online through a credit card company’s website.

If you are taking out a card with a bank, you can also go to a physical bank branch and ask a representative there to help you with your application.

3. Submit your information and wait

A credit card application is pretty short and only asks for a few pieces of personal and financial information. Typically, you just need to submit your name, address, an estimate of your household income and your social security number (credit card companies use this to look up your credit score).

Once you’ve sent in your information, you’ll wait for the company to make a decision. Some programs could approve you instantly if you’re credit score is high enough. Otherwise, you will need to wait a week or two for a response.

4. Don’t send out too many applications at once

If your credit card score is a bit low, it might seem like a good idea to send out multiple applications. It seems logical that at least one would go through. However, you have to be careful though with sending out too many applications.

Every time you send out an application, it slightly brings down your credit score. This is because creditors will pull up your credit information and this hurts your score. It’s a better approach to be patient and just send out one or two applications at a time.

As you can see, applying for a credit card only takes a little bit of preparation and a few minutes of work. Good luck with your application!

Photo source: wisegeek.com.