Being new at your job doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t get a new credit card. Here are some tips to help you with your application.
Since a large part of the credit card application involves details of your income and employment, you may be wondering how being in a new position or probationary phase will affect your application. This guide will explain the conditions you’ll need to meet, the details you’ll have to provide and some tips you can follow when submitting a credit card application while you’re still a new employee.
Credit card application criteria
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.
- 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.
What employment details do I need to provide?
To prove income and the ability to afford a credit card, you’ll generally need to provide the following details:
- Your employer’s contact details. The credit card company will probably call your employer to verify the details you have provided, which 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.
- The length of time you’ve been employed there. This is a standard question, which won’t necessarily reflect negatively on you if you’ve had stable and recent previous employment. If you’re freshly out of school or haven’t been employed before your new job, you might want to contact the issuer directly to see if there is any other information you need to provide to increase your chances of approval.
- Your salary. This is necessary for credit providers to work out your debt-to-income ratio before they can approve your 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, because it will satisfy the application requirement. However, remember that your application is always assessed in its merit as a whole.
- Your previous employment history. This is another standard question to demonstrate income stability.
- Your most recent tax statement. This is usually an alternative to providing payslips if you’re employed, but more relevant if you’re self-employed.
- 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. Since they may be contacted, it would be smart to pre-empt your manager (or whomever you’ve listed as a contact person or referee in your application). It would most certainly work in your favour if you had a good relationship with them and they spoke well of you.
- Provide as much employment information as possible on your application. Include as many specific details in your application as you can, so that your circumstances are clear to whomever receives it and they get a better picture of you as an individual.
- Make sure you include details of other forms of income. Some people omit this because they think of it as unimportant, but any other sources of income you may earn also contribute to your total income and eligibility. Other forms of income might include shares, pensions or other freelance or additional jobs.
- Include details of assets. Similarly, assets help improve your eligibility, so include as much detail as possible of any assets you own, such as savings accounts, and investments.
- Provide additional supporting documentation. While they may not explicitly ask for this, it will likely help your particular situation if you voluntarily provide documentation of other listed income and assets too, such as healthy bank statements.
- Compare cards before you apply. This is important, because you should only apply for a card that you qualify for, and that matches your lifestyle and spending needs. Learn how applying for too many credit cards might backfire on you.
- 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 would increase your chances of application success if you have a moderate income.
- Request a lower credit limit. Asking for a lower credit limit could improve your chances of being approved, because it implicitly reduces your income requirement. Once you’ve received your card, settled down in the job and shown yourself to be a responsible borrower by making regular repayments, you can always ask for a credit limit increase.
You may want to apply for one card at a time too, since making multiple credit card applications at once will more likely hurt than help you. In any case, research your options well and compare available cards that suit your income and status before applying. Here are more credit card application tips to help you with the process. Even if you’ve just started a new job, so long as you meet the eligibility requirements and have all of the necessary information handy, you should have no trouble applying for a new credit card.Back to top