Use Care When Applying For Credit Cards Online
Credit cards are now easier than ever to apply for, thanks to the internet and the arrival of comparison services such as Card Sense. Not only is it easy to apply, but you can often get an instant or at least very quick decision. This ease of use however can sometimes be a bad thing – there are in fact dangers to applying online that you need to avoid. If you apply for too many cards, you risk harming your credit rating.
Each credit card that an issuer releases is aimed at a certain kind of customer, with different requirements needed before an application is approved. Some cards will only be issued to people with excellent credit ratings, while others are aimed directly at people with poor credit. Most cards, of course, lie somewhere in the middle, and therein lies the problem.
Easy to Apply Online
Even if you have a decent credit rating, you can’t be sure that you’ll be accepted for a card, and the ease of applying online can make it tempting to have a go and see what happens. The problem is though, each application is recorded on your credit rating file, and so is the result. If you build up a long list of rejections on your file, this can actually contribute to a poor credit rating, making future rejections even more likely. This is obviously a vicious circle you’ll want to avoid, so how can you do it while still applying online?
The first step is to be sure you have a chance of being accepted for the card you’re applying for. Do you meet the stated requirements such as minimum income? If not, you need to find another card. If you match the basic requirements, take a look at the interest rate being offered. If it is significantly better than any other card you’ve been offered, then that can be a warning that you’re unlikely to be accepted, and should maybe consider a card that isn’t quite so cutting edge in terms of features offered.
Apply to Different Banks
Once you’ve made your application, hopefully it will be accepted. If not, don’t be tempted to apply for similar cards from the same bank – they’ll likely have the same acceptance criteria, and your application will likely be rejected too. Instead, look for a similar card from a different company, who may be less strict, or alternatively a slightly less attractive offer from the same company which you may stand a better chance of being approved for.
So bearing all this in mind, should you be wary of applying online? The answer is no, so long as you’re sensible and realistic about what kind of card you have a chance of getting, and also don’t become a ‘serial applier’ with dozens of rejections on your file.