How To Qualify for a Credit Card

How To Qualify for a Credit Card

The process of applying for and being granted a credit card is not as straightforward as it may initially appear. Credit card issuers have criteria that they take into consideration for each individual who applies for a credit card. It is in your best interest to familiarize yourself with the requirements necessary to obtain a credit card before you make an application for one. You will be able to calculate your likelihood of being granted approval in this manner, allowing you to avoid a credit check if it is more likely that you will not be granted approval.

Check Your Age to See if You're Eligible for a Credit Card

18 years old is the minimum age required to apply for a credit card on your own. However, in order to get approved for a credit card, you will first need to demonstrate that you have a reliable source of income. If this is not the case, it is likely that you will be required to apply for a credit card together with another person. It is not necessary for you to be employed full-time in order to qualify for a credit card due to the income requirements. On the application for the credit card, you have the option of including your annual earnings from the university employment you have in addition to your other income. The issuer of your credit card will take you into consideration if the amount is sufficient to pay off your existing load.

Make Your Own Money If You Can

To be eligible for a credit card, you need to demonstrate that you either have your own source of income or "reasonable access" to the income of another household member. Access that is reasonable can take the form of deposits made into a shared account or frequent transfers made from the account of the wage earner to your own account.  Because of the new limitation, you won't be able to list your parents' income on the credit card application unless you are applying for a joint credit card, your parents are regularly contributing to your financial well-being, or they pay your monthly bills. Your capacity to pay off the purchases you make with a credit card is contingent on your possession of a dependable source of income. Not only do you need to have your own source of income, but the amount of that revenue that you bring in each month should also be sufficient to warrant the amount of the credit limit that you are requesting.

Have a Credit Record That's in Good Standing

If you have a solid credit history, you will have a better chance of being approved for a credit card. The higher your credit score is, the greater the likelihood that you will be approved for the loan. There are some companies that will only grant credit cards to applicants who have perfect credit histories. Your application will be accepted by others, provided that you have not been late with any payments during the last two years. If you have a poor credit history with a certain credit card issuer, you may find it difficult to obtain approval for a new credit card from the same provider. If you had a charge-off with one of your previous Capital One credit cards, for instance, it's possible that you won't be authorized for a new card from Capital One for at least a year after that.  If you don't have the finest credit score, you should look for credit cards that accept applicants even if they have a poor credit history.

Keep your debt load to a minimum

Before deciding whether or not to grant your application, issuers of credit cards will take into account the total balances of all of your other credit cards and loans. Your application can be rejected if you use too much of your available credit. The amount of debt that is considered to be too excessive varies depending on the credit card provider as well as the type of credit card for which you apply. Your goal should be to keep your total credit card debt at or below 30 percent of your available credit.  It is possible that the issuer of your credit card will evaluate your current debt in relation to your income in order to determine whether or not you are able to carry a balance on another credit card, given your current financial obligations. A high ratio of debt to income would suggest that you do not have enough money coming in each month to pay off another credit card obligation. 

Find yourself a co-signer

You can ask a friend or a member of your family to co-sign your application for a credit card if you are unable to qualify for one on your own for one of the following reasons: you are not old enough, you do not have adequate income, or you have bad credit. In order for both of you to be approved for the credit card, the co-signer needs to fulfill the requirements set forth by the card issuer. If you ask a friend or family member to co-sign for you so that you can get a credit card, they are taking a risk when they do so. If you do not pay the sum back, the co-signer will be accountable for the balance and will get any credit harm that has resulted from missing payments on the account that you have made. An alternative that may assist you in boosting your credit score to the point where you are eligible to qualify on your own is to ask to be added as an authorized user on an existing account.

Put some money aside for a security deposit

If you have just established credit or bad credit and are having trouble getting approved for a traditional credit card, you might find more success with a secured credit card. Before you can be approved for the secured credit card, you are required to first make a security deposit equal to the amount of your credit limit. If you make all of your payments on time for a period of around a year, you can become eligible for an unsecured credit card after that, providing that no additional unfavorable information is added to your credit report.  There are a lot of issuers of secured credit cards which will take a security deposit of as little as $200. If you don't have that much money, you should start putting away $50 to $100 every month until you have enough money for a decent security deposit saved up.

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