Credit Card Applications FAQ
Lots of folks have questions about credit cards but may feel shy about asking for fear of being seen as not savvy. Here’s a list of frequently asked questions about applying for credit cards to bring you up to speed on what you need to know about the credit card application process.
Can I apply for a credit card?
In general, if you’re 18 years of age or older (the age limit may be lower in some states) and are a U.S. citizen, you have the legal right to apply for a credit card with any U.S. bank or financial institution.
Do I have to have a bank account to get a credit card?
In most cases, credit card companies won’t consider issuing credit to someone that doesn’t have at least one bank account in their own name.
Do I have to have a bank account with the bank that issues the credit card?
No – in most cases. As long as the credit card issuer can determine your credit worthiness, it doesn’t matter where your bank account is. There is one exception. If you apply for a secured credit card, you must keep a ‘security deposit’ of a certain amount in the institution chosen by the credit card issuer (usually their own bank).
Can I apply for more than one credit card at a time?
You can apply for as many credit cards as you want, but you should be aware that multiple credit card applications can affect your credit score negatively. You should shop around to find the best rate you can on a credit card, then apply for ONE credit card.
Do rejected applications hurt my credit score?
My favorite store just offered me 20% off anything I buy today if I fill out a credit card application right now. Even when I told the girl that I had bad credit and wouldn’t get approved, she said it didn’t matter. It doesn’t hurt anything to apply – is that true?
See above. Every time you fill out an application for a credit card, you’re giving the company permission to request a credit report from one of the credit reporting agencies. Those requests are kept on file on your record for anywhere from three to five years, and the number of requests are just one of the things that determine your credit score. If you’ve applied indiscriminately for any credit card offer you see, it could lower your credit score and make it more difficult to get a loan when you really need one.
What should I look for when filling out a credit card application?
Read all the fine print on the contract. If you’re filling out an application online, make sure you click on links to read the terms and conditions. If you’re not careful, you may end up signing an agreement to pay an application fee, a processing fee and/or an annual fee – which they’ll happily charge to your new credit card and start collecting interest on immediately.
You may freely reprint this article provided the author bio and live links are left intact.