How To Apply For A Credit Card

The best thing to do before applying for a credit card is to shop comparatively around to find the best credit card for you to use. Typically the APR, balance transfer rates, fees, rewards and other incentives help shoppers decide which cards are the most attractive. Consumers can search online to find competitive offers.

Another thing to consider is the state of your credit score before you apply for a credit card. Besides actually determining whether you qualify for a credit card at all, your credit score is also used by credit card companies to decide how good of a card to give to you. They save their best offers to consumers with the best credit reports. All the credit card companies want consumers with the best scores; they make the best customers. They pay their bills on time and they do not a history of irresponsible spending and debt accumulation.

Because it is a competitive market out there, credit card companies try to distinguish themselves by making their offerings attractive to prospective customers. If your credit score is poor, thing about waiting six months to a year before applying for a new credit card. The wait may get you a more exclusive card that you would otherwise qualify for.

When applying for a credit card, you will need the following information:

Full name

Birth date

Social security number

Credit card applications may also ask about your work history and your current salary.

Banks do not run credit checks themselves but use a service that reports a credit score based on your borrowing and financial history. Your credit score is associated with your name, birth date, and social security number.

You can apply for a credit card in person at a bank or online. If you do go online to apply for a credit card, make sure that the website is using secured sockets. Look at the web address; you should see https:// instead of http://. You can also apply for a credit card over the phone. Just make sure you are dealing with a real business (i.e. a bank that you do business with) so you do not unwittingly provided your personal information to a phishing attempt.

If you do not have much credit history, you may want to start by applying for a petrol card or a department store card first. Usually if you can demonstrate responsible credit card use, your credit score will increase enough for you to qualify for a “real” credit card.


Peter Carville is a freelance article writer who writes for Financial Facts about the current financial news and the credit crunch.
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