How to get a credit card

Getting a credit card can open up all sorts of exciting opportunities for you – whether that’s purchasing a holiday, consolidating debt, or building up your credit. However, it’s crucial that you find out all there is to know about credit cards before you decide to apply for one. This way, you can decide which one is best for you, how to apply for one, and what to expect with repayments. Read on to find out more about how you can get a credit card that’s right for you.

Should I get a credit card?

Before you decide to get a credit card, you should assess your current financial situation by working out your monthly outgoings versus how much income you receive. From here, calculate out how much money you think you could comfortably pay back per month against how much money you’d be looking to spend on your credit card. It’s also wise to think about any factors that may impact your financial situation in the future.

Once you’ve worked this out, it’s time to check your eligibility for credit cards to get an idea of what’s out there and what you could be approved for. You can do this by checking your credit score report with our free checker and using our free eligibility calculator to see which card is the best option for you.

It’s important to note that whilst ‘credit inquiries’ or ‘soft searches’ will not affect your credit score, ‘hard inquiries’ or ‘hard searches’ can negatively affect your score and stay visible on your report for two years. So, if you think your chances of success for a particular credit card are low, it may be a wise to apply for a credit card where your chances of success are a little higher, even if this means compromising on some of the benefits or perks available.

How to apply for a credit card

Make sure you have all of your personal information at hand once you’re ready to check your credit score or eligibility for credit card applications. This includes previous addresses from the past five years, your current bank account details, your monthly income and outgoings, employer details, and any outstanding debt to declare. Our credit reference agency, Callcredit, will then use this information to perform a ‘soft search’ on your credit history to assess which credit cards will give you the greatest chance of a successful application.

Once you’ve found out your credit score and know which credit cards you’re most likely to be approved for, you can then choose which perks or offers are the most important to you. Once you’ve decided on a card that ticks all of the boxes, you can go ahead and make an application. Our comparison tool will provide links beside each card, taking you to the provider’s website so you can start the application process

How long does it take to get a credit card?

The fastest and easiest way to get a credit card is an online application, where the whole process usually takes around 10 minutes. Once you’ve filled in all the necessary personal information, a decision is usually made within 30 seconds by the provider.

Depending on which credit card you choose and are approved for the card can take up to ten days, after you apply for it, to be delivered to your address. However, some faster providers aim to send your new card out between three and five working days of successful application.

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