Getting approved for a credit card isn’t as easy as you think – the credit lender will look at things like your credit history and your background to see if you’re reliable or not. There’s nothing worse than applying for a credit card, whether it be a general credit card, a store credit card, or a travel credit card, and getting denied.
When you apply for any type of credit card, you’ll fill out an application (typically online) with your basic information, and why you’re qualified to be lent this money – they’ll look at your income, your expenses, at loans you may already have, etc. You’ll want to do anything you can to ensure you’ll get approved before applying, and we have some great tips to help increase your chances of being approved!
5 ways to increase your chances of being approved for a credit card:
1. Check your credit score
Before applying for a credit card, you should check your credit score. Use an app like Credit Karma to see what’s helping and what’s hurting your credit score. Maybe you had a late payment, or you’re using too much of your credit limit on another card you have. Use your credit score to see how you can make changes going forward in regard to your finances.
2. Pay off debts
Another way to increase your chances of being approved for a credit card is to take time before paying down or off some of your debt. If you have a lot of debt and you don’t pay it off as you should, your credit lender will see that and you won’t have a chance at getting approved for that Southwest credit card. Take a couple of months to pay down some of your debt so you can boost your credit score.
3. Lower your credit utilization
This term refers to how much of your credit limit you use – experts say you shouldn’t be using more than 30% of your credit limit, so for example, if you’re credit limit is $10,000, your balance shouldn’t ever go above $3,000. Showing the credit lender that you don’t use your entire credit limit will greatly increase your chance of being approved for new a credit card.
4. Apply for the right card
Not all cards are a good match for all borrowers. Different people need credit cards for different reasons. If you’re applying for a business credit card and you don’t own a business, you most likely won’t get approved for that card. Only apply for credit cards that are a good fit for you and your needs.
5. Include all your sources of income
No matter how big or small a source of income is, always include it on your credit application. If you make $100 a month doing outdoor work for your neighbor (and it’s a consistent thing all year), include that on your application!
Our Bottom Line
When it comes to applying for a new credit card, you need to be smart – you don’t want to apply for credit cards you don’t need because you don’t want it to affect your credit score. Getting denied for a credit card does show on your credit report, so save yourself the hassle and get a deep understanding of what you need and what credit card does exactly that, and do whatever you can to increase your credit score, which will increase your chances of being approved for a new credit card.