Millions of Americans use credit cards for purchases daily. If you have yet to join that astounding number, you may be wondering how to apply for a credit card. Thankfully, the options are endless and simple.
How to Apply for a New Credit Card
You can apply for a credit card in various ways, such as by mail, online, or by phone. If you’re happy with your current credit score, you can choose from a variety of banks and credit card companies. According to the experts at SoFi, “Applying won’t hurt your credit score.”
In this article, we’ll talk about the various steps involved in applying for a credit card, as well as how online credit card research can help you find the best deal. Online credit card research can help you find the ones that are most likely to interest you.
1. Check Your Credit Report and Score
Before you apply for a credit card, make sure that you have a good credit score. This will allow you to compare the various rewards and interest rates that you’ll likely receive from your offers. Your score will be between 300 and 850, with anything over 670 being considered “good.” You can check your score with the three major credit reporting agencies: Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian.
You’ll also want to check your recent credit inquiries, as these are temporary flags that will appear on your report after a credit check has been conducted. Having too many credit checks done in a short time can negatively affect your score.
2. Compare Different Offers
Before you apply for a credit card, make sure that you thoroughly research the various options available to you. Doing so will allow you to find the best credit card for you. In addition to the annual fees and interest rates, make sure that you also pay attention to the perks and ongoing rewards.
If you don’t find any cards that you’re interested in, try asking your friends about the various cards that they like. This will allow you to get rewarded when they sign up for a credit card. You can also get a referral bonus if you use the code provided.
3. Fill Out an Application
After you’ve made a selection, go to the site’s “Apply Now” button. It should take you directly to the credit card application page, where you’ll be asked to provide a variety of information. Some of the questions may be slightly different, but they should still be able to provide you with a comprehensive picture of your financial situation.
4. Submit the Application
After you’ve applied, it’s now time to wait for a decision from the various companies that have been given a chance to review it. Usually, the companies that have been given a chance to review the application will give you a decision within 10 to 14 business days, depending on the company.
5. Receive Your New Card in the Mail
If you’re approved, you’ll receive your new credit card in the mail within 10 to 14 business days. It’s usually possible to expedite this process, depending on your circumstances. After you’ve received your card, you’ll need to activate it, and then you’re free to make purchases.
Getting a credit card is a crucial step in your financial journey, as it will allow you to have access to funds when you need them. However, experts recommend treating your card as a debit one, as it’s important to pay off your balances in full each month.