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How to apply for a credit card

Once you have decided what credit card is best suited for your circumstances, the next step is to find a convenient and effective way to apply for it.

There are many accessible options for applying for a credit card. When you receive direct mail offers from card companies, there are generally applications enclosed.

Credit card applications are also available at banks and other lending institutions.

However, unless you have thoroughly researched your options beforehand, you cannot be sure that the deal you are applying for is the right one for you.

For example, while a good deal on a credit card may pop through your letterbox, and you are tempted to apply, how do you know that there isn’t another, better and more suitable credit card out there unless you have done your research beforehand?

By applying for credit cards this way, you have not seen everything that is on offer within the market place. In today’s online world, the most convenient way to find - and apply for – a credit card is via the internet.

Go shopping!

Our credit card search facility gives you an education into what deals are out there right now, allowing you to compare terms, conditions and policy benefits quickly and easily. Once you have decided which card best suits you, it is a simple case of applying online.

Most banks and credit card companies have online application forms that are extremely easy to complete. In fact, many credit card companies offer an instantaneous decision for applicants possessing a solid credit history.

Credit card applications are fairly straight-forward and easy to fill in (providing you have all the necessary information to hand) and probably take around ten minutes to complete. All applications collect your basic contact information, of course, including your name, address, phone numbers, and e-mail but you will also need certain other information to hand.

This is generally your main bank account number and sort code; your previous address details if you have moved within the last three years; your employers full address; plus details of your income and expenditure. The latter is because credit card companies want to know if you have the ability to meet the monthly payment demands for the credit they make available to you.

Individual or joint application?

An important decision when applying for a card is whether to apply as individual, or with a joint applicant. If your income as an individual is high and your credit rating is good, there are benefits to applying by yourself.

This is because, when you submit a credit card application, you are authorising the credit card issuer to do a credit check. They want to know the risk involved with lending you money. This credit check helps them determine your credit worthiness and how much credit to make available to you. They compare your income with your credit risk and other debt. They also look at how good you are paying your monthly bills!

A debt to income analysis tells the card issuer what percentage of your current monthly income is allocated toward other debts, including mortgages, personal loans, other cards, and car payments. This helps them assess your ability to make monthly payments. If your debt to income ratio is unfavourable, or you have a poor credit history, you may be better to apply with a joint applicant.

With a joint applicant, you may present less of a credit risk, assuming your joint applicant is credit worthy. A joint applicant with good income, a low debt to income ratio, and a strong credit history is a good ally in the credit card process.

Do keep in mind, however, that each borrower is responsible for the debt incurred by the card. If you agree to apply jointly with someone, be sure that you trust their ability to repay their obligation of the debt.

Credit cards

Essentially, online applications are an efficient way to apply for a credit card.

As long as potential borrowers realise they are authorising a credit check and who know their income and other key details, then the process should go smoothly, just as it is intended to.

So how can you ensure that your credit card application go as smoothly as possible?

  • Have all the necessary information to hand (bank account details, employers full address etc)
  • Use our credit card search to shop around for the card that it is right for you
  • Compare the interest rates as well as any terms and conditions, checking that it offers what you want (eg cash back payments or a low introductory rate)
  • Select the card you want .. and then apply!

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