Whether you’re just trying to build your credit for the first time or you’re looking to improve your existing credit score, a new credit card can be a great financial tool to utilize. Most credit card companies require that you apply online to get one of their cards. If you’ve never done so before, here are the steps that you’ll want to take to apply for a credit card online.
Determine Your Credit Score
Before applying for a credit card, it’s essential that you understand what your credit score is. Certain credit card providers cater to different segments of people depending on their credit score. For example, one company may cater to the 680 and above group, while another may cater to the 580 to 620 credit group.
When you know what your credit score is, you can apply for credit cards that you know for sure you’ll meet their minimum credit score requirement. It will get approved for the card. You never want to apply for a credit card whose minimum credit score is above what your current score is. That’s just a recipe for getting declined and having another hard inquiry on your credit report.
Filling Out Your Information
You may have gotten an email telling you that you’re pre-qualified for a credit card, or you may even have done an online pre-qualification. Either way, applying for a credit card online is your logical next step. After clicking the apply button, you’ll be asked for some personal information. This includes:
• Your legal name
• Social security number
• Mailing address
• Employment status
• Gross annual income
• Housing expenses
• Contact number
This information allows the credit card provider to pull a copy of your credit report, assess your financial commitment, determine if you’re approved and for how much money.
Whenever you submit your entire social security number, the credit card provider will pull your credit report. This is considered a hard inquiry. It’s important to note that you’ll want to limit your applications to only those cards that you’re truly interested in because each application will affect your credit score.
According to the experts at SoFi, “The reason that hard inquiries can lower your credit score is because a new application can represent more risk for the card issuer.”
Receive Your Decision
Once you submit your credit card application, you’ll likely get a decision within a few seconds to a few days, depending on a number of different factors. If you’re approved for a credit card, they will tell you what your new credit limit will be and give you the terms, rates, and conditions that go along with getting that particular credit card. If you’re declined, they will provide you with a list of reasons so that you understand what you’ll need to do in the future to get approved for that card.
Applying for a credit card online is very convenient and quick. By following the above-mentioned steps, you can set yourself up for the best chance of getting approved for a new credit card.