Credit cards for new employees: how to apply
Being new at your job doesn’t mean you can’t get a new credit card. Here's what you'll need to provide to get approved.
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When you apply for a credit card, you'll need to provide details of your income and employment. If you've started a new job, you may need to provide additional information about your previous place of employment. You'll also need to meet other eligibility criteria including credit history and residential status.
The specific criteria will vary between cards, but you can use this guide to learn about the employment details you'll usually need to provide when you apply for a credit card.
What employment details do I need to provide?
When you apply for a credit card, the lender assesses your income and employment status (as well as other information) to determine your ability to repay your debt. You'll generally need to provide the following details:
- Employer’s contact details. The credit card company may contact your employer to verify the details you have provided. This is why you’ll need to include the contact details of your manager or superior. If you’re new to your position, you might want to ask your manager’s permission before including their contact details in your application.
- Length of employment. This is a standard question, which won’t necessarily reflect negatively on you if you’ve had stable and recent previous employment. If you haven't been employed at your job for very long, you may be required to provide your previous employer's contact information as well. If you're new to the workforce and don't have much employment experience, contact the bank first before applying to see if you need to provide any further information.
- Annual income. Some credit cards have minimum annual income requirements, but you'll always need to provide and prove your income. The lender will use this information (as well as any existing debts and your regular expenses) to assess your ability to repay and determine your approved credit limit.
- Payslips. Even if you’re still in your probationary period, most card issuers require only three of your most recent payslips. This means you can apply in your second month of work if you get paid fortnightly. However, remember that your application is always assessed in its merit as a whole.
- Recent tax statement. If you're self-employed or don't have recent payslips, you may be asked to provide your most recent tax statement.
- Your accountant’s contact details. This is required if you are self-employed.
Tips for applying for a credit card as a new employee
Here are several tips that might help improve your chances of approval when applying for a credit card when you’ve just started a new job:
- Let your employer know. Ask for employer for permission before you list their contact information in your application. Not only is it polite, but they'll also be prepared to receive the call.
- Be thorough. Provide as much information as you can to help improve your chances of approval.
- Other forms of income and assets. If relevant, include other forms of income (such as investment properties, freelance work or assets). This information will give the lender a more comprehensive understanding of your finances.
- Compare cards before you apply. You should only apply for one credit card at a time, as several applications in a short time period can hurt your credit score. This is why it's important to compare your options, check that you meet the eligibility requirements and carefully review the fees, rates and features before you apply.
- Choose a no-frills credit card. While rewards credit cards and premium cards present higher income requirements, no-frills or low-income credit cards have lower income requirements that may be more suitable if you're still in your probation period.
- Request a lower credit limit. If you're new to your place of employment, you might have a higher chance of being approved for a lower credit limit.
Other eligibility criteria that you'll need to meet
Just as you would if you'd been employed for a while, there are requirements you'll need to meet before you receive approval for a credit card. While the criteria will vary from card to card, the application eligibility requirements generally include:
- Age. You must typically be at least 18 years of age or older to apply.
- Residency status. You must be an Australian citizen or resident to apply. In some cases, certain visa holders may also apply.
- Credit history. Credit card issuers use your credit history as a way to assess your application for risk. Your credit score will determine if you're a low-risk or high-risk borrower, with the latter less likely to be approved for a credit card. You can request a free copy of your credit report and score through Finder.
- Income. A minimum annual income requirement usually applies, starting from $15,000 for the lower range cards to more than $100,000 for premium cards.
Compare current credit card offers
We update our data regularly, but information can change between updates. Confirm details with the provider you're interested in before making a decision.
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