Requirements in Getting a Credit Card [Complete Guide]

The process of getting a credit card is as straightforward as it goes. All you have to do is prepare all the requirements, complete the application form and submit it to the issuer of your choosing.

However, it’s easier said than done. The challenge then would be getting the approval of the credit card issuer. Because even if you have everything that’s needed to apply for a credit card, there are a handful of factors that can determine whether you can be issued with one or not.

Credit card issuers are thorough. Your credit history matters a lot in getting your application approved. Your credit score plays a big role as it shows your issuer if you’re a lending risk. 

Credit cards make it easier and more convenient for everyone to make transactions. There are a lot of advantages with using credit cards which should be why according to Cardrates, the U.S. has now become home for more than 350 million credit card users.

While credit card-issuing banks share the same type of requirements for credit card applications, there can still be some variance depending on the issuing bank or the type of card you want to apply for.

It’s ideal to do research about the needed paperwork and procedures for application. This way, you can better navigate your way through the process of applying for credit cards. Here are the requirements in getting a credit card:

Principal Credit Card Applicants Must Be At Least 21 Years Old

According to Discover, the legal age to own a credit card is 18. As long as you are at least 18 years old, you can apply for a credit card. You can do this without the need of parent’s consent.

However, not having a source of income and just relying on allowance can make it harder for you to get a credit card. In fact, according to The Balance, “federal law requires that young adults under age 21 have verifiable income before they can be approved for a credit card without a cosigner”.

Allowance doesn’t count as a source of income. If you apply for a credit card without proof of income, you won’t get an approval.

Even just having a part-time job can be sufficient to get yourself a credit card. If you happen to have no source of income, you have to:

  • Find someone with a source of income to open a joint credit account with you.
  • Have someone make u an authorized user of their credit cards.

Stable Source of Income

According to Finder, before the establishment of the CARD Act back in 2009, credit card companies were willing to give everyone credit cards. This even included people with no source of income.

This caused a lot of financial chaos. While everyone used their credit cards, there became a lot of losses because of unpaid credit debt. Now, more standards are in place to regulate credit card use.

Income is one of the factors that credit card issuers take into consideration before they give their approval. Moreover, your source of income should be sufficient or high enough for the credit limit you’re applying for. 

Positive Credit History

According to Credit, a good credit history not just helps you get approved for your application, but it also opens you to a lot of credit options. This is why it’s important to know your credit score and maintain one that’s high. 

For you to know your credit score, you can use free tools such as Credit Sesame. It’s free, allows you to look at your credit score and offers a lot of other useful services.

The better your credit score, the higher the chances of getting approved. Although there are ways around getting an approval despite having a low credit score, it’s ideal to maintain a good one.

According to Money Under 30, people who don’t have credit history can apply for secured credit cards. This is a type of credit card that requires you to make a certain amount of deposit to the bank first before you can open an account.

Physical Address

According to the U.S. Patriot Act of 2001, all financial institutions must enact the Customer Identification Program. This means that to apply for a credit card, you need to have a physical address.

For this, you can either use your home address or your work address. However, you can’t use P.O. boxes. According to Cardrates, issuing banks don’t consider P.O. boxes as physical address.

Social Security Number

According to Credit Karma, in the United States, having a social security number is required for those who want to apply for  credit cards. This is a way of monitoring the earnings and benefits of each person.

Issuing banks also ask for your SSN during the application process to verify your identity. 

To summarize, here are the requirements in getting a credit card:

  1. Principal Credit Card Applicants Must Be At Least 21 Years Old
  2. Stable Source of Income
  3. Positive Credit History
  4. Physical Address
  5. Social Security Number

If you’re looking into getting a new or your first credit card, be sure that you are able to comply with all the requirements in getting a credit card. Credit cards are convenient and powerful financial tools. 

They can help you in life or do financial harm if you are not responsible enough. You are free to use your credit cards however you like. 

As long as you are able to make full payments on time, you are well on your way to achieving a high credit score. Open a credit card to start building your credit history today.