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How to apply for a credit card when you’re self-employed

Information verified correct on December 9th, 2016

Am I eligible to apply for a credit card if I am self-employed?

If you’re self-employed, you can still apply for most credit cards, as long as you meet the eligibility requirements. However, you may be required to submit some different documents than you would if you were, say, retired or employed by a company. Here’s a summary of the providers who accept self-employed applicants and the documents you’ll need to provide to increase your chances of approval.

ProviderWho can apply and the documents you’ll need
American Express
  • Self-employed: Yes. Your accountant’s details are required.
ANZ
  • Self-employed: Yes. Your accountant's name and contact number is required.
Bank Australia
  • Self-employed: Yes. You’re required to provide full financials including returns and balance sheets from the last 2 years.
Bankwest
  • Self-employed: Yes. If you’re self employed, you have to show your two most recent Notice of Assessments from the tax office. You’re also required to provide information about your other income, assets, ongoing expenses and liabilities.
Bank of Melbourne
  • Self-employed: Yes. You’ll need to provide an eligible tax return. If you haven’t been self-employed for more than a year, you’re not eligible to apply.
BankSA
  • Self-employed: Yes. You’ll need to provide an eligible tax return. If you haven’t been self-employed for more than a year, you’re not eligible to apply.
Bank of Queensland
  • Self-employed: Yes. You’ll need to supply any one of the following options:
  • 2 most recent Notices of Assessment or 2 most recent income tax returns
  • 2 most recent business/company tax returns, or two most recent business/company profit and loss statements
Bendigo Bank
  • Self-employed: Yes. If self employed, you’ll need to provide your accountant's name and contact details as well as details of your income, assets and liabilities. This is where your most recent tax return statement would come in handy.
Citi
  • Self-employed: Yes. You’ll need to provide 2 of your most recent income tax returns, or two of your most recent Notices of Assessment and 2 of the most recent business/company tax returns or two most recent business/company profit and loss statements. As long as you meet the eligibility requirements and provide the supporting documents, you should have no trouble applying.
Coles
  • Self-employed: Yes. You’ll need to provide your Notice of Assessment for the previous financial year. If you haven’t got that, then you’ll need to provide a tax return that shows your individual taxable income prepared by your accountant. If you haven’t been self-employed for a full year, you’ll need a letter from your accountant detailing the personal taxable income for the time you’ve been self-employed.
Commonwealth Bank
  • Self-employed: Yes. You’ll need to submit your ABN and the title of your business. You’ll also need to provide two documents including your most recent tax return, ABN registration certificate, trade or qualification certification, projected income statement from the accountant or tax return from before you were self-employed.
Emirates
  • Self-employed: Yes.
    One of the following options are required:
  • 2 most recent income tax returns

or

  • 2 most recent Notices of Assessment

and

  • 2 most recent business/company tax returns or
  • 2 most recent business/company profit and loss statements
Latitude Financial Services
  • Self-employed: Yes. Notice of Assessment for the previous financial year is required. If you haven’t got that, then the next document is a tax return, which shows your individual taxable income prepared by your account. If you’re not self-employed for a full year, you’ll need a letter from your accountant detailing the personal taxable income for the time you’ve been self-employed.
HSBC
  • Self-employed: Yes. You’ll be required to provide your most recent individual Notice of Assessment.
Jetstar
  • Self-employed: Yes. Your accountant’s details are required.
ME Bank
  • Self employed: Yes.
    You will need to provide:
    -Last 2 tax returns
    -Last Notice of Assessment
    -Your accountant’s contact details
NAB
  • Self-employed: Yes. Your accountant’s contact details required.
St.George
  • Self-employed: Yes, as long as you provide a Notice of Assessment. If you’ve been self-employed for less than a year, you won’t be able to apply.
Suncorp
  • Self-employed: Yes. If you’re self-employed, you need to provide a recent tax statement or payslip. If you’ve been self-employed for less than 2 years, you’ll also need to provide information of your income before then. You’ll also need to provide your accountant’s name and contact details.
Virgin Money (Citi)As Virgin Money credit cards are issued by Citi, they follow the same rules as the bank.

  • Self-employed: Yes. You’ll need to provide 2 of your most recent income tax returns or 2 of your most recent Notices of Assessment and two of the most recent business/company tax returns or the 2 most recent business/company profit and loss statements. So long as you meet the eligibility requirements and provide the supporting documents, you should have no trouble applying.
Westpac
  • Self-employed: Yes. If you are self employed, you need to provide your last 2 tax returns as proof of income to apply for a credit card. If you’ve been self-employed for less than a year, your best option is to visit a St.George branch so they can do an assessment and run through your options.
Woolworths
  • Self-employed: Yes. You’ll need to detail your trading name and trading address and provide your most recent tax statement.

Mistakes to avoid

Applying without researching

If you’re self-employed, you’ll need to provide additional documents and meet special eligibility requirements to receive approval. Rejected applications will have a negative impact on your credit file, so you want to conduct the necessary research to improve your chances of approval in the first place.

If you’re unsure of what you need to provide, see the relevant product disclosure statement (PDS) or contact the provider to confirm the terms and conditions you’ll need to meet.

If you do your research beforehand to ensure you’ve met the eligibility requirements and have the necessary documents, you’ll increase your chances of approval. How to ensure your credit card application is approved.

Applying for several cards in a short time period

If you’ve applied for a card and been rejected, don’t apply for another one straight away, as this will put a dent in your credit file. Instead, do some research to establish why you weren’t accepted. If you didn’t have all of the correct documents, make sure you have all of the most recent versions of them when you apply again in a few months. If you were rejected because of your credit history, you can start improving your credit file to increase your chances of approval next time. Learn how to improve your credit score here.

If you’re self-employed, you should have no trouble applying for a credit card as long as you prepare beforehand. If you follow this guide, ensure you meet the eligibility requirements and organise the necessary documents, you should have no trouble applying for a credit card.

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