In this day and age, applying for a credit card couldn’t be simpler.
With many lenders, the entire application process can be completed online and you could receive an instant decision.
What questions will I be asked?
The questions you’re asked may vary slightly depending on the credit card provider but, generally, they will be fairly similar across the board.
You’ll be asked for details like your title, full name, date of birth, contact details, address and residential status. Your postcode is required so that the credit card provider can verify your address and look into your credit history.
Employment and financial
Next, you’ll be asked for your employment status – employed, self-employed, student or retired, for example - occupation and annual income.
What documents will I need?
You’ll probably know most of the information requested in your credit card application off the top of your head. If you’re unsure of your annual income, you can find out by checking your tax documents or your employment contract.
If you’re self-employed, this may be trickier to work out. Try to make sure the number you provide is as accurate as possible.
Which credit card is right for me?
This is a question only you can answer. There are various types of credit cards out there, including:
- Credit cards for bad credit
- 0% interest cards
- Prepaid cards
- Balance transfer credit cards
- Cash back credit cards
and more! The type of card you choose might depend on factors like your credit history and the kind of benefits you want to receive from your credit card.
Things to look out for
When applying for a credit card, there are a few things worth looking out for:
- APR – this is the amount of interest you’ll be charged if you don’t clear your balance in full each month.
- Minimum repayment – if you’re unable to pay off your credit card in full at the end of the month, you’ll need to make at least the minimum payment. Generally, this is either 3% of the balance or £5 – whichever is higher.
- Annual fee – this is a payment for the use of the credit card. Not all providers charge it, so it’s certainly something worth checking before you choose which card to go for.
- Additional charges – you will almost always be charged for late payments, withdrawing cash from an ATM machine, using your card abroad or exceeding your credit limit. Different card providers will have different charges and rules, though.
- Introductory rates – some credit cards will come with a low or 0% interest rate offer for a set period of time. Once this introductory period ends, you will be charged interest, so be sure to check what it is before you take out the card.
What to avoid
When applying for a credit card, if you’re declined from your first choice try to avoid making numerous applications in a short space of time. Applications can show up on your credit history and may make you appear desperate to access cash.
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