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How To Fill Out a Credit Card Application

If you want your first credit card, there are plenty of credit card issuers who might offer you a line of credit. This might be your local bank, a local retailer or a department stores. Of course, the big name credit card and debit card companies like Visa, MasterCard, and American Express offer their own credit card lines. Once you know which card you want to apply for, you can fill out credit card applications at local stores or banks, over the phone or on the internet. Most creditors have online credit card applications to make it easier on potential credit card holders.

When filling out a credit card application, certain questions will be universal. So we’ll start this how-to guide for a credit card application by collecting the information that will make the application process so quicker and easier for you.

Like most everything else you’ll encounter, a little bit of preparation makes your life a whole lot easier. Follow these steps and be prepared the next time you’re in a store and the cashier asks you to fill out a store credit card application.

Prepare For Your Credit Application

1. Know Your Own Credit History – Many credit card companies allow you to select consumer credit cards according to your credit rating, if you know it. This saves you the trouble of applying for credit cards you have no chance of being accepted for.

2. Collect Personal Financial Information – Figure out what your gross income last year was. “Gross income” is the total amount of money you received last years from wages, tips, bonuses, alimony, child support or any other source. A credit card company almost always asks for this information, to determine your ability to pay off debts you incur.

Choosing a Credit Card

3. Learn the Credit Terms – select a credit card by learning about the credit card “APR” rates, the credit card terms and what plans each company is offering. If reading through the terms on a credit card application seems confusing, search on the internet under the specific name of the credit card you’re considering applying for and see what present and former customers say about it. Also, know that credit card companies generally have the right to change certain lending terms, so make certain you know which terms they can change at any time.

4. Know What an APR Is – “APR” stands for “annual percentage rate”. The APR is how much of a percentage of your debt you will pay every year. We’ll use a very simplistic example. Example: You have charged $500 on your credit card. The APR is 10%, so over the course of the year, you’ll be charged 10% of your debt of $500, or $50. If you don’t pay down the debt, after a year, you will owe $550. Figure out how much your debt goes up every day by taking the APR and dividing it by 365 (days, that is).

5. Check Who Endorses the Card – When applying for a credit card, make certain that card is endorsed by the corporation. For instance, if you decide to apply for a Visa credit card online, go to their official website and make certain that card is listed among their endorsed credit cards. Getting into a credit card scam will cost you lots of time and money.

6. Learn the Preconditions – Figure out what the preconditions for a card are, so you don’t end up applying for a bunch of credit cards you have no chance of acquiring. This can be frustrating. Most preconditions are fairly easy to meet, such as drivers license, social security number, proof of address (license usually is enough) and date of birth (the same).

Applying For a Credit Card

7. Fill Out a Paper Application – If you fill out an application in a bank or retail store, this will be a paper application. This will be easy, because you’ll have an employee there to assist you if you have questions. If you would prefer filling out applications on paper, then find a credit card application online and print it out. You can send this application through the mail to the address given.

8. Apply Over the Telephone – You can apply over the phone for most cards, if you learn the phone number for the credit card company. Most have a 1-800 number for credit card applications, though you might have to maneuver through an automated system to get to that number. Learn the toll free number via the internet or through magazine ads, newspaper ads or even the yellow pages phone directory.

9. Apply For Credit Online
– Most people apply for credit cards online, because it’s the quickest way to get credit and the simplest process. Also, credit card companies prefer you fill out credit applications online, because it cuts down on paperwork, postal costs and phone bills. Therefore, credit card companies make it as easy as possible to fill out internet credit card applications. Make certain you have the information you’ll need for the application, and make certain you do your research as you would on paper applications or over the phone. Fill out all necessary boxes and wait for a reply.

10. Contact the Credit Institution for Questions – If you have any questions during the credit card application process, find their online contact information and email them your question.

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