How Hard Is It to Get a Credit CardDecember 5, 2010 - 8:34 am
Applying for a credit card is the easy part. You just fill in a few blanks of personal information you should already know – your name, address, date of birth, social security number, and income. Actually getting the credit card is a little harder.
Credit card companies check a few basic things when you apply for a credit card: your age, your income, and your credit history.
A recent Federal law passed that makes it harder for young people to get a credit card. In most states, you have to be at least 18 years old to get a credit card, but credit card companies also have to verify income before they can give you a credit card. They must make sure you can afford to repay the balance if you’re under age 21. If you don’t have enough income to pay a credit card, then you must find a cosigner who does have income. And if you can’t find a cosigner, no credit card for you until you get a job.
Though the law makes special mention for income checks on credit card applicants under age 21, those who are over that age aren’t exempt from listing their income on the credit card application. Credit card companies are required to verify an applicant’s ability to repay the credit card balance and that means checking income before approving a credit card application.
You can currently list your household income on the credit card application, but that may soon be changing to only allow your individual income. If you don’t make enough money, your credit card application could be denied.
Rest assured, your credit history is going to be checked for almost every credit card application. Credit history is one of the biggest factors credit card companies use to evaluate credit card applications. They’re looking at your credit history for reasons to deny your credit card application. For example, if you have negative information on your credit report like: past due bills, charged-off credit cards, bankruptcy, tax liens, repossessions, etc. you will probably have trouble getting approved for a credit card.
On the other hand, applicants with outstanding credit histories have a much easier time getting approved for a credit card, especially if they have the income to pay back the credit card balance.
Why Were You Denied?
If you have a credit card application turned down, the card issuer won’t tell you immediately, even if your application is made in person, over the phone, or on the internet. Instead, you’ll receive a letter in the mail telling you the specific reason that you were denied.
If you were denied because of something on your credit report, you’ll get order a free copy of that credit report. You only have 60 days to do it, so you have to act fast. Otherwise, if your credit report wasn’t a factor in the credit decision, you’ll still be told the reason that you were denied, but you won’t get a free credit report.