Some Advice About Applying for a Credit Card
If you are considering opening up a new credit cards account, there are a few things to think about beforehand. While you may notice many appealing offers circulating, some touting generous-sounding sign on bonuses, rewards programs or no interest on new purchases for a specified period of time, it’s best to analyze your particular spending habits and credit history before selecting which one to keep in your wallet.
How’s your score?
In order to qualify for a card with a the lowest available APR, the least amount of fees and the best rewards program you must have a good to excellent credit score and a credit history indicative of financial responsibility. If your credit score is poor or nonexistent, it is still possible to obtain a card but your options will be more limited. Have a sense of your credit card score before applying for a new card so that you will be able to realistically pick which one to choose.
Have you been prompt with payments?
Go over the credit card statements for any cards you currently carry. Have you made your payments on time every billing cycle? Have you ever been late paying your bill or missed out on making a payment altogether? If the answer is yes to either or both of those questions, realize that any perks, bonuses or rewards on the card you hope to acquire may be rendered null and void if you exhibit sloppy payment behavior. You may also be subject to penalty fees, so make sure you read the fine print to know what you are getting into and assess your payment habits honestly.
Do you use your credit cards often?
If your card is always warm to the touch because you use it so often, consider setting it aside and letting it cool down for a bit before applying to open up a new account. Lenders may perceive you as “over using” your credit cards, which will make it less likely that you will qualify for the new card that has all the features you want the most.
The flip side to that is if you have not been using credit recently – you have either been opting to pay for purchases in cash or with a debit card – that also make it more difficult for you to open up a new account. It’s important to use (not overuse!) your cards on a regular basis in order to establish and maintain a positive credit history. The saying “it takes credit to build credit” is absolutely true.
Review Your Report
Lastly, it is an excellent idea to take a peek at your credit report to better assess where your score stands. Look out for any unfamiliar activity or errors, and if you find any contact the credit bureau and corresponding card issuer immediately to have the mistakes rectified. Also see to it that your responsible payment behavior has been duly noted as well. Because your report is that first thing a potential lender looks at when considering you as a candidate for a new card, you want to make sure that is is an accurate representation of your best financial self.
Latest Other Card Guides
When the weather starts to warm up and the snow starts to melt, most people are ready to throw open their windows and tackle the dust and grime that have built up over the winter months. Likewise, it’s a great time to open up your budgeting spreadsheet, log into your bank ...
Do you know the signs of a toxic relationship? You feel out of control, just not yourself anymore.
If you’ve been reading about the changes in credit card payments lately, you might be wondering how it’s going to affect you.
Are you getting all you can out of your credit cards? If you’re collecting rewards points and not using them, you are missing out on one of the best perks of having a credit card.
When you see a credit card offer how do you know if it’s a good one? With so many different credit cards on the market, it can be difficult to know where to begin in evaluating the latest credit card offers.