How to Qualify for the Best Credit CardsMarch 24, 2011 - 8:45 am
Credit card approval isn’t guaranteed. Just because you apply for a credit card doesn’t mean you’ll get that card, or that you’ll get the rate that was advertised. Even when you’re “pre-approved” for a card, you could end up being approved, but with less favorable terms that what you received in the mail. You could even be denied. There are some things you can do to improve your chances at getting approved for the best credit cards.
Pay all your bills on time.
Payment history is one of the major factors credit card issuers consider when they’re approving applications. If you’ve always paid your bills on time, then you have a much better chance at having your application approved. On the other hand, late payments, even just one or two late payments here and there, will keep you from qualifying for the best credit cards.
Keep your debt low.
If you have too much debt, whether it’s credit card debt or other debt, you may be turned down for a credit card. When you already have a lot of debt obligations, creditors may worry that you won’t be able to handle yet another credit card. So, they may decline your credit card application or approve you, but give you a low credit limit or high interest rate.
Make enough money.
Credit card issuers are now required to ask for income on every credit card application. The best credit card offers will require you to make enough money each month to pay your credit card bill. They may even use your monthly income and total debt level to calculate a debt-to-income ratio for you. If your debt-to-income ratio is too high, the credit card issuer may decline your application, even if you make a lot of money.
Don’t apply all at once.
Another factor credit card issuers consider is the number of recent credit card applications you’ve made. Your credit report will include all the credit applications you’ve made within the past two years. If you’ve applied for too many credit cards, some credit card issuers will deny your application. They think that you may be taking on too much credit or that you’re desperate for credit. Neither of those makes a good credit for the best credit cards.
Be Over 18
The legal age to apply for a credit card is 18. But, due to recent changes to the credit card law, it could be harder to get a credit card if you’re under 21. Young adults have to get a cosigner if they don’t qualify on their own. You still need to meet the income requirements if you’re older than 21, but credit card issuers aren’t required to verify the income as they are with young adults.
The best credit card isn’t necessarily the one who sends you a credit card offer in the mail. Instead, the best credit card is the one you choose based on your own research and comparison.