You can easily apply for a credit card online by entering your information and clicking submit. But, getting approved for a credit card requires knowledge and planning.
Let’s look at six steps that will ensure a smooth, painless, and – most importantly – quick credit card approval.
1. Become Familiar With Credit Scores
You must have a decent credit score for your application to be approved by a credit card issuer, so this step is the most important one if you want to be approved quickly. Approval requirements may vary by bank, but they generally classify credit scores similarly. Do your homework and find out which factors influence your credit score negatively and positively.
Also, you must generally have good or excellent credit to qualify for rewards credit cards, so you may want to apply if you can maintain a good credit history. If you have bad credit, consider secured or unsecured cards instead.
2. Find Out What Your Credit Score Is
Understanding where to find your credit score is key. FICO and VantageScore are the most prominent scoring models. Getting your FICO score for free elsewhere is possible, but you will need to pay for it at MyFICO.com. If you already have a credit card, FICO scores may be available on your monthly statement or online account.
The VantageScore credit score is accessible on some personal finance websites, such as NerdWallet. In addition, the VantageScore and FICO scores track similarly since they consider many of the same factors and use similar credit bureau data.
3. Decide Which Credit Card Is Right for You
The availability of credit is a key component of financial well-being for many people. Knowing the different types of credit cards can help you choose the right one for your needs. Consider your reasons for wanting a credit card when weighing your options so you can determine which one suits you best.
4. Learn About the Application Requirements
It’s essential to understand the information required to apply; knowing what will be asked of you and preparing the information ahead of time will speed up the process.
When applying for a credit card, your lender might ask for the following information:
To open a credit card in your name, you must be at least 18 years old. You will also need to demonstrate that you can make minimum payments independently if you are under 21. Another alternative is to cosign with an adult who’s over 21, like a parent.
Some credit card issuers require documentation such as proof of income and residency in the U.S., but others do not.
Your Credit Score
No matter your chosen card, approval depends on your credit score. Though, as stated above, some cards require higher scores for approval.
5. Learn if You’ve Been Pre-Approved
Before applying for a credit card, it’s helpful to know whether or not you pre-qualify or are pre-approved. Pre-qualification or pre-approval typically indicates you meet at least some of the initial eligibility criteria needed to become a cardholder.
6. Choose the Right Application Method
You can choose one of several methods to apply for a credit card. Some are quicker than others, which can determine the speed of the overall process.
Credit card applications can be submitted online quickly and easily.
If you want assistance with the application process, applying in person can be helpful, though it may take a bit longer than applying online.
You can also apply for credit cards over the phone. A representative can usually assist you during business hours. Again, this method can be helpful if you have questions, but will certainly take longer than online applications.
Usually, applying for a card by mail is the slowest method because the card issuer may take a few weeks to process your application and return a response.
Applying for a credit card can be daunting, but earnest preparation can put you on the fast track to approval.