Credit cards can be both exciting and intimidating. The benefits they offer in terms of convenience are a major draw for consumers but many people are simply put off by the prospect of a complicated application process and possible rejection. The good news is that whether you want to apply for online credit cards or actually go to your local bank and have them talk you through it, there are a whole load of useful tips on what sort of information to look out for but here are some particular points of interest to remember when filing an application.
- Type of card: There are all sorts of different cards, be it a fairly standard credit card, a business credit card or a rewards card so take a look at what is available and decide which is most suited to your needs.
- Credit rating: Your credit rating is built up throughout your life and is based on how well you have managed to repay any previous debts and keep up to date with monthly bills. Knowing your rating will help you decide which options are available to you in terms of taking out a new card as the better your credit score; the better your chances of being accepted.
- Charges: It is important to be aware that credit cards are not free money; everything you charge onto one must be repaid and so always be sure to research the interest rate as well as any set up charges, annual fees and late payment penalties before you take out a card to be certain you can afford to pay for it.
- Small print: Banks and credit card companies want to make their deals sound as tempting as possible but don’t be tricked into something that is perhaps not as good as it first seemed. Sometimes interest rates and reward schemes may sound great but upon closer inspection of the small print, only last for a very limited amount of time; always be certain you know exactly what you are agreeing to.
- Shop around: Don’t be tempted to just apply for the first credit card you come across; there could be far better deals waiting to be found. Head to different banks and browse online to make sure you have scoured the market for the card that is right for you.
- Reviews: Once you have an idea of the card you want, don’t just apply right away. It is a good idea to look for consumer reviews of the card before you do so as this gives you direct feedback from real people with first-hand experience of the card and how manageable the payments are.
- Information: You will be required to present certain information when applying for a credit card. Though the specifics can differ from one to another, you should check what you will need and gather it together to help save time and allow the process to go as smoothly as possible.
- Accuracy: There is nothing more annoying than being rejected purely because of a simple mistake in your application form. Make sure all information is correct and completely up-to-date before you send it off.
- Safety: Credit card fraud can be devastating so always make sure you follow safety advice by keeping any account details private, signing or registering you card as soon as it arrives and destroying any documents that display the likes of your PIN or password.