If you’ve decided the time has come to get a credit card then you may be wondering where to start. With so many lenders out there, each offering a wide selection of products, it’s best to educate yourself and narrow down your search slightly before making an application.
Once you do have a better idea of the kind of card you’d like, these simple tips could help you avoid making the mistakes that might lead to you being knocked back.
Find out your credit score
Your credit score is used by lenders when you apply for a credit card to determine whether you are a worthwhile risk. If your score is currently low then it’s likely you’ll be refused for most cards. Each time you’re declined a mark will be left on your file, potentially making the situation worse. However, things can be done to rebuild your credit score, so don’t despair. It might simply be a case of showing you can be responsible by accepting a product with a higher rate of interest and paying bills on time.
Be honest when applying
Don’t be tempted to put false information on a credit card application form, as the details are carefully checked and will typically lead to you being declined. If you are accepted and then struggle to meet repayments, your white lie could be used against you in court, because this is technically fraud.
Don’t apply for multiple credit cards
It’s best not to treat the process of applying for a credit card in the same way you would go about trying to get a new job. In other words, it’s probably best to avoid making multiple applications all at once in the hope that one comes back to you with positive news. If you’re turned away by some lenders this is likely to harm your credit score, which might make it more difficult to get another card or a mortgage in future.
Be able to provide the right details
Make sure you fill in an application form thoroughly and accurately, as mistakes can lead to delays – or worse still – rejection. You’ll typically need to provide details relating your bank account, address, previous and current debts and income. With many lenders it’s now possible to apply online, so the process needn’t have to involve visiting a bank.