Credit card sales are almost everywhere you go, from the hallways of a mall to college campuses, and even during flights. There are so many to choose from, but you don’t know where to start. Follow these steps to get your own credit card.
Before applying for a credit card:
- What’s up with your credit score? This is the first question you should ask yourself. Your credit score (also known as FICO, which could be anywhere from 300 to 850 points) is generally the main factor a financial institution takes into account to approve a credit card. The interest rate offered by the bank, expressed in terms of Annual Percentage Rate or APR will depend on how good your credit score is and if it complies with each bank’s acceptable credit criteria. Some factors that wrap ups the credit score are the quantity of debts and the respective balances owed. If you owe a lot of money, the credit score will be lower and it can be an indicator that probably you will not be able to handle an additional financial product; so it is time for you to pare down your debt balances.
- Don’t apply for every card you are offered: Every time you apply, it could affect your credit. If those who offer credit cards check your credit it may be seen as if you’re applying for multiple credits, which is lethal for your credit score.Instead, choose among three cards that you like best, and research their pros and cons, and apply for only one at a time. For example, a card could offer you more rewards points for your purchases, while another one could give you gas or travel miles. In addition, you should verify the APR of each of the credit cards since ultimately, that is what the credit card will cost you. Once you decide on the best credit card that fills your needs, you may proceed to apply.
- Documents you will need to complete your application: You could go to the bank to complete your application, but you can also do this online from the comfort of your home and choose from among the thousands of cards in the market. Whether you complete this transaction in person or online, keep the following information handy: your social security number, driver’s license, home address, phone number for two contacts, information about your most recent jobs, income details, bank accounts, and your monthly payments.
- Persevere: If your card application is denied due to a lack of credit history, look for information on other credit products available. For example, one option is to apply for a secured credit card, where you contribute a certain amount of money so the balance can be charged against the deposits.
- Be responsible: If your credit card is approved, congratulations! Now make sure to be consistent with your payments before the payment due dates, since this also reveals your credit management and will be reflected in your credit score, both on the short and the long run.
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