You’ve probably heard that applying for a credit card can be tough, but don’t let that discourage you from getting one of your own. Even if you have bad credit, there are ways to get online credit card approval and even land some of the best cards on the market with extra work upfront. To help out, we’ve put together this list of 10 tips to help you get your application approved and start using your new card as soon as possible.
1. Have a Strong Salary
Lenders must know that you have the ability to repay your debt, and one way they judge this is by looking at your salary. So if you have a strong salary, that’s a good sign to lenders that you’re a low-risk borrower.
2. Don’t Have Too Many Accounts Open
When you apply for a new credit card, the issuer will look at your credit report to see how many accounts you have open. Having too many could raise a red flag that you’re trying to carry too much debt.
3. Know Your Credit Score
The first step is to know your credit score. This number represents your creditworthiness and is used by lenders to determine whether or not you’re a good candidate for a loan or credit card.
4. Treat Your Cards Like Debit Cards, Not Credit Cards
To keep your credit score high, you should use your credit cards like debit cards. In other words, only spend what you have in your account and make sure to pay off your balance in full each month.
5. Use Credit Responsibly and Pay Off Your Balances in Full Each Month
One of the best ways to improve your credit score is to use credit responsibly and pay off your balances in full each month. This shows lenders that you’re a responsible borrower who can be trusted to make timely payments. In the case of the SoFi credit card, as per their experts, “Make 12 monthly on-time payments of at least the minimum payment due, and we’ll lower your APR by 1%.”
6. Carry Low Balances
One factor that credit card issuers take into account when considering your application is how much of your available credit you’re using. For example, if your balance on one card is $3,000 and the total limit on the card is $5,000, you’ll look better to an issuer than someone who has a balance of $6,000.
7. Keep Your Oldest Account Open
One of the things lenders look at when considering your creditworthiness is the length of your credit history. The longer you have had a credit card, the better off you are, so keep your oldest account open and don’t close it until you are ready to get a new one.
8. Don’t Close Inactive Accounts Even if You No Longer Use Them
If you have inactive accounts that you no longer use, don’t close them. This will bring your credit score down because it will lower your credit utilization ratio or the amount of credit you use compared to the amount of credit you have available.
9. Don’t Apply for More Than Three Cards at Once
One of the biggest factors in credit card approval is your credit utilization rate. This is the available credit percentage you use at any given time. For example, if you have a $3,000 limit and use up $1,500 in spending power, your utilization rate would be 50%. Lenders generally want a low credit utilization rate of about 30% or less.
10. Understand the Fees On Each Card
Each credit card has different fees, so you must understand what those fees are before applying. Some cards have annual fees, while others have balance transfer or foreign transaction fees.
Applying for a credit card can be a daunting task, but there are a few things you can do to increase your chances of getting approved. Although it’s impossible to guarantee that an application will be approved, these steps can help you feel more confident and prepared when applying for a new credit card.