Applying for a credit card nowadays is as easy as filling out a form online and hitting the “submit” button. Before you click, there are a few things you need to know.
Make sure your credit qualifies you for a credit card
Consumers should check to see that their credit history is in good shape before applying for a credit card.
- Maintain a good credit score. A credit score of 720 or above is considered excellent. Most card issuers require either good or excellent credit scores. If you have a bad credit history, it may be a good idea to wait until you can raise your credit score to apply for a credit card.
- Don’t apply for multiple lines of credit at one time, even online, as it can hurt your score.
- Reduce your debt load. Lenders look at your debt-to-income ratio and your debt-to-credit ratio. If too much of your income is going to pay debts, or you are maxing out the limits on the credit cards you do have, lenders may consider you too risky.
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Is it safe to apply for a credit card online?
It is safe in most cases to apply for a credit card online. Reputable credit card companies have ample tools in place to protect your personal information. But take steps to make sure you are using a reputable lender.
- Use only websites of credit card issuers that you know to be reputable.
- Look at the issuer’s website address. There should be a letter “s” after “http” to designate that you are on a secure website.
- If you receive an unsolicited credit card offer via email, don’t click on the link there. Instead, find the lender’s website and online application. You can always contact your lender directly to apply if you do not want to use the web to do so.
- Never respond to a credit card offer online from an unfamiliar sender.
You might get instant approval
Some lenders offer instant-approval credit cards. This type of offer is enticing because you will know right…