The festive season is upon us but if you’ve already applied for a credit card, will it arrive in time for Christmas?
Well the answer is ultimately up to the lender. The time it takes for your credit card to reach you all depends on the credit card provider you’ve applied to.
The thing is, providers judge your application based on their own unique criteria. And this is something to bear mind, especially if you’re thinking about taking out a credit card to help spread the cost of Christmas.
We don’t mean you should jump at the first credit card you see. As with anything, you should take your time to shop around and see what options are available.
Find the best credit card for you
When shopping for a credit card, you should weigh up your options. Some credit card providers may offer a lower interest rate or even an interest-free promotional period. But these promotions are typically offered to people with a good credit history.
When you apply for a credit card, lenders will look at your credit history. This is simply a record of all your borrowing activity over the last six years or so. If lenders conclude that you’re a responsible borrower, you may find that you’ve a bigger choice of credit cards to choose from.
"It's important to check your credit history is up to date and correct."
On the flipside, if you have a less than perfect credit history - perhaps you’ve previously missed or been late with payments - you may find it more difficult to be accepted for the best credit card offers. And, if you’re accepted, you may find that you’re offered a lower credit limit or higher interest rates.
This is why it’s important to check your credit history is up to date and correct, as this will affect your application. And if you’ve struggled with managing credit in the past, there are lenders who specialise in lending to people with a bad credit history.
How do I check my credit history?
"You can check your credit history for free."
Lenders will use one of three credit-checking agencies – Experian, Equifax and CallCredit – to check your credit history. The great news is you can check your credit history for free. With Noddle, offered by Callcredit, and ClearScore, owned by Equifax, you’ll have access to what lenders can see.
By keeping a close eye on your credit history, you can make sure it’s in tiptop shape when applying for a credit card. After all, if lenders can see that you’ve responsibly borrowed credit in the past, they are more likely to be confident lending to you.
If your credit history has negative marks on it, don’t worry. It doesn’t mean that you won’t be accepted for a credit card. We have plenty of tips on how to improve your credit history - head here to find out more.
Check before you apply
Every time you apply for a credit card, it will flag up on your credit history. So, if you apply to a number of credit card providers in a short period of time, your application may be rejected because the lenders think you’re desperate for the money.
But, there are ways that you can check before you apply. Price comparison sites and free credit-checking agencies, such as Experian’s CreditMatcher, let you search and compare credit cards you’re eligible for. This comparison is a soft search, which will not leave a mark on your credit history.
Here at Ocean we have QuickCheck. This allows you to check your eligibility for our credit card before you apply – without impacting on your credit history.
If you’re looking for a new credit card, why not head here where you can find out more about the Ocean Credit Card?
Disclaimer: All information and links are correct at the time of publishing.