credit cards for newly hired employees

Applying for a Credit Card While Entering Employment

Information verified correct on December 10th, 2016

If you’re transitioning between jobs or embarking on a new role, you may still be eligible to apply for a credit card. Discover your options and compare cards here.

When you’re starting a new job, it can be hard to get the payslips or other proof of stable employment that’s often required for credit card applications. In this situation, it’s still possible to get a new credit card but providers may require additional information to assess and approve your application. This guide will explain what you need to know to help you successfully apply for a credit card when entering employment.

What credit card companies will consider if you apply when entering new employment

Current income and stable employment are important considerations when it comes to credit card applications because they help credit card providers assess your ability to make repayments. However, most providers are open to assessing legitimate applications even when your circumstances have recently changed.

To do so, providers will need to verify all the details of your situation, and may ask for additional information. Some of the details you could be required to provide include:

  • Employment contract details. Being able to provide proof of new or impending employment will weigh hugely in your favour. After all, credit card providers are less likely to pass up a good customer just because the timing isn’t ideal.
  • Previous employment. Unless you are fresh out of school (which could also be considered in your favour), being able to provide proof of previous employment will give providers confidence in your general earning stability and character.
  • Previous income. This also builds up your case for income stability and character. You want to show them that you are a low-risk and responsible borrower with a stable income and career. Note that some providers may accept Centrelink benefits or pensions as legitimate forms of income.
  • Bank statements. It’s a plus if you are able to show regular payments and expenses to and from your account, as well as a healthy bank balance.
  • Savings accounts. If you have more than one, showing your positive bank balances won’t hurt your chances.
  • Previous tax returns. Again, this is proof of previous employment, as well as your responsible personality.
  • Credit history. Unless you’re a fresh graduate, your credit history always factors heavily into all credit applications. Having a good credit history will really help here.

Tips to improve your chances of credit card approval

approved-credit-card-applicationIf you’re applying for a credit card while new to a job, make sure you also consider the following factors:

  • Look at the minimum income requirements. Most credit cards have minimum income requirements, and you should consider these details based on your new income.
  • Consider a low credit limit. Asking for a low credit limit can reduce the risk to lenders and may work in your favour when applying for a card after a recent change in employment. You can always get the limit increased once you’ve settled into your job and shown your credit card provider how responsibly you always pay your bills on time.
  • Look at no-frills cards. The type of credit card you apply for also makes a difference. Rewards cards and premium cards generally require you to have a high income, so while your earnings are in the grey area, opting for a no-frills or low-income credit card will definitely increase your chances of application success.
  • Compare a range of credit cards. Whichever credit card type you choose, make sure you research their features and fees well. It’s important to compare cards on the market so that you can find an option that suits your circumstances and needs.
  • Contact providers directly. Discussing your personal circumstances directly with your prospective credit card company can help you figure out if they are likely to approve your application. You can also ask them to recommend other possible options and seek their advice on how to improve your chances of approval.
  • Wait a few months. Your chances of credit card approval naturally improve once you have a few payslips to show for your work and you’re out of the probationary period. It might also be better to wait a few months than to risk being rejected because that could hurt your future applications.

If you want to apply for a credit card when you’re just starting employment, the first thing to do is compare your options. Find the card that is most suitable for you given your usual income, expenditure and lifestyle. Make sure you fulfill the general eligibility requirements of that card, then call the card company and have that conversation about your current circumstances. Ask them for honest advice and see where that takes you. But also be prepared to provide additional documentation or to wait a few months so you have a greater chance of being approved for the card that you want.

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Amy Bradney-George

Amy is a Senior Writer at finder.com.au with more than 10 years experience covering credit cards, personal finance and various lifestyle topics. When she’s not sharing her knowledge on money matters, Amy spends her time as an actress.

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