Know if you're accepted before you apply with QuickCheck

  • Get credit - up to £1,500
  • QuickCheck won’t affect your credit rating
  • Get a fast response in 60 seconds

34.9% APR Representative (variable)
Intelligent Lending Ltd (Credit Broker). Capital One is the exclusive lender

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“You might think it makes sense to apply for a credit card or loan with the lowest possible APR to see if you get accepted, but this might not be the best approach...”

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High representative APRs and low representative APRs

Low APRs -

Typically, products with a low annual percentage rate are offered to those customers with above average credit histories.

You might think it makes sense to apply for a credit card or loan with the lowest possible APR to see if you get accepted, but this might not be the best approach if your credit history is less than perfect. Products with the lowest APRs are often reserved exclusively for those with excellent credit histories, so you may face rejection if you have had any trouble managing credit in the past.

The thing is, each application for credit you make shows on your credit history. If you’re turned down, you may have to apply again – but a handful of applications for credit made close together can be read by lenders as a sign you’re desperate to borrow. When you apply for credit, a mark known as a hard footprint is left on your credit report. Future lenders will be able to see these and may refuse to lend you anything if you appear desperate to borrow after having been declined by several lenders.

However, if you’ve got an excellent credit rating, you’ve a greater chance of being accepted for a credit card or loan with a competitive APR. And as well as offering lower interest rates on lending, many credit card providers reward applicants who have the best credit histories with incentives like extended interest-free periods, air miles, cashback on purchases and reward points to spend in supermarkets.

You can find out your credit history before you apply for credit through one or more of the credit reference agencies. There are two ways of getting your credit history for free - ClearScore and Noddle

High APRs -

It’s unlikely that a credit card with a higher APR will be the one that grabs you when you start shopping around, but they are usually available to a wider range of people.

The APR available to you will likely depend on your credit history, and if yours isn’t the best you may need to prepare yourself to pay one of the higher rates. This is because lenders will generally view you as more of a risk than if you have a near-perfect track record with borrowing (and therefore a better credit history).

But it’s not only problems managing credit that can stand against you in the eyes of lenders, but also never having borrowed anything at all. If you haven’t taken on much credit in the past, you may find products with low APRs are out of your reach, because lenders won’t have the proof they need that you can borrow responsibly.

If you’re in this situation, you may feel as though it’s a vicious cycle, but there are ways to improve your credit history. Credit building cards and credit cards for bad credit are designed for people with a poor or limited credit history. They could therefore help you improve your credit score – providing you borrow responsibly and make at least the minimum payment each month. Just be prepared to pay a relatively high APR on this type of credit card.

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Should I apply for a credit card?

Of course, if your finances are tight right now, taking on more credit may not be a good idea. It’s best to wait until you know you can comfortably manage to keep up with your repayments.

If you want to improve your credit history, you could use a credit card to make one or two small purchases per month and set up a Direct Debit to cover at least the minimum monthly payment so you don’t have to worry about missing it. This will help you to improve your credit history, providing you don’t go over your spending limit or make any cash withdrawals with the card.

While you must always make at least the minimum repayment each month, we would recommend you pay off the full balance. That way, you can avoid paying any interest on your purchases – no matter what the APR attached to the card.

Remember, your credit history won’t become immaculate overnight: it takes months of making your repayments on time before you start to notice a considerable difference. But improving your credit history is worthwhile, because as it gets better you should be able to access products – such as credit cards, loans and mortgages - with lower APRs. 

Know if you're accepted before you apply with QuickCheck

  • Get credit - up to £1,500
  • QuickCheck won’t affect your credit rating
  • Get a fast response in 60 seconds

34.9% APR Representative (variable)
Intelligent Lending Ltd (Credit Broker). Capital One is the exclusive lender

Check Now