When Is the Right Time to Apply for a Credit Card?April 23, 2011 - 7:46 am
Is there a right time? It is a good question to ask yourself but it is a question with no real answer. There is no one perfect time to send in your credit card application or apply of a credit card online but there are some considerations to make before you take that step.
Here are 5 ways to ensure it is the right time for you to apply for a new credit card:
1. Your Credit Score Has Been Ordered
All credit card providers want to be assured they are approving credit card applications for consumers who have proven they can meet their financial obligations. The credit score of the consumer is a representation of their ability to make good on financial commitments. A high score indicates high levels of responsibility. Low credit scores signal a concern for risk of default. It is important for you to be aware of your own credit score before applying so you’ll know what to expect. Low scores should be improved before submitting an application. Remember also that your credit score will be used as a gauge for determining your credit allowance. Higher scores mean you are likely to be given more of a credit limit.
2. You’ve Done Your Homework
It is essential that you have done your research of the different credit cards available before submitting applications for a new card. For each application, you provide the credit card company with the authority to check your credit. If multiple companies are checking into your credit, you can actually lower your credit score as a result of too much activity. It is best for you to at least narrow down your choices to two or three cards and then spend some time deciding which is best for you. Never apply for a credit card just because you go an offer in the mail.
3. You’ve Read the Fine Print
Every credit card application contains disclosure information about the terms and conditions of the credit card you are qualified to receive. If you have not read these terms and conditions all the way through, you may be missing some very important details that make a difference in your card use. Beyond the interest rate and repayment date, you need to understand the grace period, penalties, and fees associated with the card before you apply for it. Otherwise, you will be in for more than you bargained for and your credit card may end up costing you a lot more than you can afford.
4. You’ve Developed a Budget
The only sure way to keep up with credit card bills is to know how much you can afford to spend. Credit card debt is one of the biggest factors affecting consumers because they end up spending more than they can reasonably afford to pay back. Ideally you want to be ready to pay the total balance on your card before the billing cycle ends to avoid interest charges and accruing debts.
5. You’ve Contacted the Company Directly
If you have any lingering doubts or unanswered questions about the credit card application process or the card terms and conditions, speak now or forever hold your peace and live with the consequences. Every credit card application provides a contact number for customer services. If you apply for a card without fully understanding the commitment you are making you will risk ruining your good credit standing