Applying for a credit card Applying for a credit card

Applying for a credit card

Having a credit card is not only useful when shopping, it also has benefits such as discounts, point awards or it may sum up miles to travel with. Here is what you need to know before you apply for one.

Applying for a credit card is not complicated, but the bank will need to be sure that you can pay back the money you spend. To evaluate this, there is some information the bank will request to be able to inquire on your credit report.

Applying for a credit card online is convenient and you can get a decision almost immediately but you can also apply in person, by mail, or on the phone. In any of these cases, this is the information you will need to fill out in your application.

1. Personal Information

First, the bank needs to verify your identity, that you are at least 21 years old (or older than 18 and have proof of income) and make sure thay have a way to contact you.  The application will likely ask for:
•    Your name
•    Date of birth 
•    Social security number
•    Physical address and email address
•    Phone number

2. Income Information

Next, you'll be asked about your gross annual income. You'll  need to tell the credit card company where this income comes from, i.e. employment, self-employment, or unemployment benefits.  Choosing "Other" may be an available option if your income comes fron another source such as alimony, child support, or veterans' benefits for example. 

3. Housing Costs and Status

Credit card issuers are also interested in how much you spend on housing each month and whether you rent or own. There may be a section on the application where you are asked if you are an owner or not, and also how much you pay for rent (if you do so) or how much your mortgage payments amount to each month. 

4. Authorized Users

To add an authorized user, you'll need to fill in their name, address, and date of birth. 

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