Thinking of applying for a credit card? Find out the five things you must do before you apply...
1. Check your credit history
Use one of the free websites such as Noodle and Clearscore to check your credit score. Whether your score is good, average or poor, there are credit cards available to suit most credit types.
2. Update your address
Lenders will need to verify your identity so it’s important that your bank and any existing lenders have the correct address for you. Your passport and driving licence need to have your correct address, and it pays to be registered to vote at your current address too.
3. Work out what type of credit card you want
If your credit score isn’t the best, you may want a card designed for people like you, such as the Ocean Credit Card. If you have a good credit score, decide if you want a card especially for debt consolidation (such as a 0% balance transfer card), one with a low rate on purchases, or even one with low fees when used abroad.
4. Don’t make multiple credit card applications
It’s important not to apply for a few credit cards in quick succession. Lenders can see how many applications you’ve made, and if they see a lot of these close together they may worry you’re desperate for credit.
5. Discover if you’ll be accepted before you apply
Some cards allow you to find out if you’ll be accepted before you make an application. These services don’t affect your credit rating and you’ll have your answer online.
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