Applying for your next credit card can be stressful – especially if you’re new to the process. Wondering what information you’ll need to provide, or if you are even eligible to apply for a credit card? Here’s the information you’ll need handy to apply for a credit card – as well as how to find out if you’re eligible.
Who Can Apply for a Credit Card?
First, who is eligible to get a credit card? There are several requirements an applicant must meet to apply for a credit card in the United States. The most crucial factor needed is that the applicant must be at least 18 years of age.
Applicants between the ages of 18 and 21 must also provide proof of income. The CARD Act of 2009 introduced this requirement, as many card issuers were unscrupulously offering credit cards to college students with no means of repaying the debt they incurred. Those between 18 and 21 without proof of income must list a co-signer on their application.
Other essential requirements include:
- Proof of citizenship or residency: Many credit card issuers require those applying to be a U.S. citizen or a resident alien with a Social Security Number (SSN).
- Credit score: Many credit card issuers have specific credit score requirements for their credit cards. The easiest way to know what credit score you’ll need to apply is to browse our Credit Needed resource page.
What Information Do You Need for Your Application?
Most credit cards have a set standard for the information you must provide on an application. Common details you’ll need for your application include:
- Full name (including middle name, if applicable)
- Age (date of birth)
- Citizenship status
- Social Security Number (SSN)
- Contact information:
- Mailing address
- Email address (if applicable)
- Contact phone number
- Financial information:
- Employment status
- Employer’s name (if applicable)
- Total annual income (all income, including investments, salary, annuities, alimony, etc.)
- Non-taxable income
- Bank account information (savings and checking account balances)
- Housing costs per month (rent, mortgage, etc.)
Some credit card issuers may require additional information, depending on the type of credit card for which you are applying.
If you plan on adding an additional authorized user, for example, your bank may require details about that person. This information includes their:
- Full name
- Date of birth
If you are applying for a balance transfer credit card, your bank or the card issuer will require information about the balance you plan to transfer over.
It’s worth noting that while balance transfer credit cards are ideal for paying off large, existing credit card balances, the card issuer must approve the transfer. For this reason, cards like the Upgrade Card are preferable, as they offer a line of credit you can transfer to your bank account – allowing you to pay off any card balance – without worrying about bank approval.
Credit Cards That Don’t Require a Credit Check
Once you provide all this information, expect your bank or the card issuer to perform a credit check. A credit check – or hard inquiry – will allow the bank to inspect your credit report to verify the information you provide and ensure your credit profile is a match for the card offer.
Hard inquiries have a small impact on your credit score, though this impact dissipates over a few months. Still, a hard inquiry remains on your credit report for two years (24 months), meaning it may lessen the chances of any future credit card applications. Fortunately, there are credit cards that don’t require a credit check.
There are lots of credit cards on the market for people with bad credit or no credit. One of the more popular options, however, is the OpenSky Secured Visa. Perhaps the best reason to consider adding the OpenSky Visa credit card to your wallet is that it requires no credit check. The application process with the OpenSky Secured Visa is straightforward and takes just a few minutes. Approval is equally quick, making the entire process as painless as possible.
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