A credit card can be invaluable for your finances. It can help you build credit, earn rewards, pay back debt, deal with emergencies, and protect your purchases.
A credit card also allows you to borrow money to make any purchase. You then pay your outstanding balance before the payment period ends. If your payment is late, you will be charged interest.
Do you want to know how to get a credit card? Keep reading to find out the steps to take and what to look out for.
Understand Why You Want a Credit Card
First of all, you need to understand why you want a credit card and what you’re looking to get out of it. This will affect the credit cards you search for and which one you choose to go with.
Do you want to build up your credit? This is helpful as it shows you can be trusted to pay back what you owe. In the future, it will make it easier for you to secure loans and qualify for lower payments.
Maybe you want to earn rewards. Some credit cards allow you to earn cashback, airport miles, or other points when you make a purchase.
You could be paying back debt with a high-interest rate. It is possible to transfer this debt to a credit card and reduce the interest rate.
These are just a few possibilities. Consider what is most important for you and then look into credit cards that offer you this option.
Check Your Credit Score and Reports
Your credit score is what lenders use to decide whether or not to give you a credit card, as well as what interest rate they will charge you.
It’s best to check your credit score so that you know what to expect. There are plenty of options to check your credit score online.
You can also request your full credit report from the three major credit bureaus. These are Experian, the Equifax company, and TransUnion. This allows you to see exactly what is affecting your credit score.
If you need to, you can then take steps to improve your score.
Compare Your Options
Take the time to fully consider and compare your credit card options. You can do this manually, or use a specific comparison website such as Bankrate or the Nerdwallet website.
Compare the requirements, benefits, and costs of each card to decide which is best for you. Some things to consider include whether the interest is fair and as low as possible, if there are low annual fees, and any rewards offered. If low fees are a particular priority for you, you may wish to take a look at the option from SoFi on this page for a credit card with zero – yep, zero – fees.
Also, think about your personal preferences and circumstances. Do you want a credit card that allows low credit, no deposit, or a co-signer?
Make sure you look at the small print. It’s important to understand the terms and conditions that you’re signing up to.
Apply for the Best Credit Card for You
Once you’ve found the right card for your needs, you’re ready to complete an application. This usually involves a quick online process that tells you whether you qualify for the card and what your specific benefits and costs would be.
If you’ve been pre-approved, you can then fill out the formal application. You can usually do all of this online, but you can also do this on a paper application, over the phone, or in the bank.
How to Get a Credit Card: Now You Know
If you’ve been wondering how to get a credit card, just follow these steps.
Once you receive it, use your card responsibly. Only spend what you can afford, and try to pay off what you owe before your payment period ends.
Did you find this post helpful? Take a look at some of our other ideas about how to make the most of your finances.