How to apply for a credit card when you’re self-employed
Almost all banks issue credit cards for people who are self-employed. Here's what you'll need to provide when you apply.
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If you’re self-employed, you can still apply for most credit cards as long as you meet the eligibility requirements. You may be required to submit some different documents than you would if you were retired or employed by a company. You can use this guide to compare credit card issuers who consider self-employed applicants and the documents you'll need to provide to apply.
Credit card providers that consider self-employed applicants
The following credit card issuers consider applications from people who are currently self-employed. We've listed the information that you may need to provide with your application below.
|Provider||The documents you’ll need|
|American Express||Your accountant’s details are required.|
|ANZ||Your most recent personal tax return and corresponding ATO Notice of Assessment (less than 18 months old, e.g. a tax return from June 2014 can only be used until December 2015).|
|Bank Australia||Provide your two most recent tax returns (both personal & business) along with the corresponding ATO official notice of assessments.|
|Bankwest||Two of your most recent Notices of Assessment from the Australian Taxation Office showing your earnings for these financial years. You may also need to provide copies of your taxation and financial reports from your accountant. These must be from within 18 months of the application submission date.|
|Bank of Melbourne||Provide recent tax information.|
|BankSA||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||You’ll need to supply any one of the following options:|
|Bendigo Bank||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.|
|Coles||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||You’ll need to submit your ABN and the title of your business. You’ll also need to provide two appropriate documents such as 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||One of the following options are required:|
|Latitude Financial Services||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||You’ll be required to provide your most recent individual Notice of Assessment and HSBC may ask for further documentation if required.|
|Jetstar||Your accountant’s details are required.|
|ME Bank||You will need to provide:|
Make sure all documents show both your full name and your agency/ institutions name & ABN.
|St.George||You must provide a Notice of Assessment. If you’ve been self-employed for less than a year, you won’t be able to apply.|
|Suncorp||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 about 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.|
|Westpac||Most recent Notice of Assessment that must be less than 18 months old and last 2 months of business bank statements.|
|Woolworths||You’ll need to detail your trading name and trading address and provide your most recent tax statement.|
What to consider before applying for a credit card when you're self-employed
When you're comparing credit cards for business or personal expenses, here are some of the factors you should consider:
- Business or personal card. A personal credit card may be better suited if your business is in its early stages, if you don't have an ABN yet and if you're a sole trader with no employees. One of these cards might be better if you plan to use it for both personal and business expenses. If you have a registered company and multiple employees, you may want to consider a business credit card that offers a larger credit limit, more additional cardholders and accounting features.
- Card features. If you'll use a credit card regularly and pay it off each month, you could reward your spending with a frequent flyer credit card. If you need a card to free up cash flow and plan to carry a balance from month to month, you could consider a card that charges a low interest rate.
- Eligibility requirements. Many credit cards require you to meet a minimum annual income to apply. You'll need to provide recent bank statements, tax returns and your accountant's information to demonstrate your income. Some banks will only consider self-employed applicants if they've been in business for more than a year. If you're unsure if you meet the criteria, get in contact with the card issuer before applying to check if you're eligible.
Compare credit cards available to self-employed applicants
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