At times, it can seem cumbersome to apply to credit cards. There are myriad of credit cards out there and they call come with qualification stipulations. While having excellent credit will definitely increase your chances of getting approved for a credit card, those who have fair or poor credit often worry about whether or not they will be able to get approved. Those with fair or poor credit should be more strategic with how they go about applying to credit cards. Knowing well in advanced the types of financial institutions and banks that cater towards your credit criteria will increase your chances of getting approved for a card. Here are a few things to consider when you are looking to apply to a credit card and ensure approval.
Know your credit history
First and foremost, you shouldn’t blindly apply to credit cards without at least having a solid understanding of your credit report. You should pull credit reports from all three major bureaus such as Equifax, TransUnion and Experian and make sure that there aren’t any mistakes, errors or any outstanding issues that could pose a problem with you applying for a credit card. By law, consumers are allowed to get a copy of their credit report every year for free. Take advantage of this to ensure that creditors are accurately reporting information the major bureaus.
Know your credit score
On top of knowing your credit history, you should also get to know your credit score. When you apply for a credit card online, most financial institutions and banks will generally give you a score they generally look for. Some may not disclose this information, but if you know your score in advance, you can be more strategic about the types of cards you apply to. This isn’t to say you will automatically be disqualified if your score doesn’t meet the financial institution’s score threshold of approval, but your chances surely will be diminished the lower your score.
Be accurate with application information
One of the most common mistakes that people make when they are applying to credit cards is that they often do not fully disclose potentially helpful information to strengthen their credit card application. While it may seem intrusive that a bank would want to know how much you pay for rent or if you graduated from college, these questions are designed to assess the likelihood that you would default on credit card payments. Generally, the more money you make and the more education you have, the more likely it is you will get approved for a credit card. Be truthful with all information, because even lying may hurt you if the bank decides to call your place of employment to verify information.
Do not shotgun your credit
Lastly and most importantly, one thing to consider to ensure approval is to avoid shot-gunning your credit score to multiple banks all at the same time. This goes back to being very thoughtful and strategic about how you apply to credit cards. Applying to multiple credit cards all at the same time will not only place multiple hard inquiries on your report, but will also look bad to prospective lenders.