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Credit cards for new employees: how to apply

Want a new credit card to match your new job? Here’s what to include in your application – plus tips to get approved.

If you've just started a new job and want to get a credit card, you can apply for any card as long as you meet the eligibility criteria. You may just need to provide extra information about your past employment, as well as your current employment and income.

While every credit card has different criteria, here's a look at what you'll usually be asked for if you're a new employee.

What employment details do I need to provide?

When you apply for a credit card, you'll need to provide details of your income and employment. This helps the lender determine your ability to repay the card, and they usually ask for at least 2-3 months of details. This can include:

  • Current job title

Most of the time you'll be asked about your employment status and current role in the first part of the application.

  • Length of employment

This is a standard question, but if you're a new employee and only started at your current workplace in the last 2-3 months, you may be asked for details about your other recent work history.

If you're new to the workforce and don't have much employment experience, contact the bank before applying to see if you need to provide any further information.

  • Employer's contact details

The credit card company may contact your employer to confirm the details you have provided. If you’re new to your position, let your manager know or ask their permission before including their contact details in your application.

Sometimes, you may also be asked for details of your previous employer. When that's the case, it's a good idea to let them know.

  • Income

All credit card applications ask for details of your current income. If you're in a new job, have other forms of income or if your salary has recently changed, you may be asked for more details. 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

Most credit card companies ask for your 3 most recent payslips. If you're a new employee and don't have 3 payslips, you may be able to provide recent bank statements or payslips from your previous job to show proof of regular income.

Just remember that your application is always assessed in its merit as a whole.

How can I get payslips from a previous employer?

Contact your previous employer, let them know you want copies of your payslips and give them your current email address or postal address so that they can send them to you.

Under the Fair Work Act 2009 and Fair Work Regulations 2009, Australian employers legally have to keep employee records for 7 years, including payslips. While these records are private and confidential, you have a right to request your employee records from any current or previous employer. If you're having issues with your previous employer, contact the Fair Work Ombudsman on 13 13 94. You could also contact your union, if you have membership to one.

  • Recent tax statement

If you're self-employed, you'll usually be asked to provide your most recent tax statement. You could also include this as supporting documentation if you don't have recent payslips or other documents that show your income history.

  • Your accountant’s contact details

This is required if you are self-employed, or if you were self-employed before you started your new job.

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 your employer for permission before you list their contact information in your application. Not only is it polite, but they'll also be prepared if the credit card provider does call.
  • Include as much information as possible. The details and supporting documents you include in your credit card application can help improve your chances of approval. So aim to include whatever details you have access to when you apply.
  • Other forms of income and assets. If relevant, include other forms of income. For example, earnings from a second job, freelance work, savings or other assets and investments. 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.
  • Consider 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 or if you've just got your first job.
  • Request a lower credit limit. If you're new to your place of employment, you might have a better chance of being approved for a lower credit limit than a high one. This is because lenders need to look at your ability to repay the credit limit, with interest, over a 3-year period – and a lower limit is more manageable.

Finder survey: What type of credit card would people consider applying for in the future?

ResponseMaleFemale
Rewards52.07%46.21%
No annual fee45.11%44.83%
Frequent Flyer33.65%28.62%
Low rate32.71%31.72%
I do not plan to have a credit card in the future15.79%27.24%
Cashback26.32%23.79%
Balance transfer19.55%11.21%
No foreign fee14.47%10.34%
Business9.21%4.31%
Other1.13%0.34%
Source: Finder survey by Pure Profile of 1113 Australians, December 2023

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.
  • Australian residency status. You usually need to be an Australian citizen or permanent resident to apply for a credit card. But 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. Some credit cards list a minimum income requirement, and others state that you must have regular income.

Want a better way to check your free credit score?

Banks know your credit score, so why shouldn't you? The Finder app updates your score automatically each month and lets you know if it changes. Pop in your phone number below to get your download link.

Want more details on applying for a new credit card? Get detailed steps and application tips in Finder's guide.

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Written by

Amy Bradney-George

Amy Bradney-George was the senior writer for credit cards at Finder, and editorial lead for Finder Green. She has over 16 years of editorial experience and has been featured in publications including ABC News, Money Magazine and The Sydney Morning Herald. See full profile

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8 Responses

    Default Gravatar
    SarahJuly 18, 2016

    How to get a loan i am a contact worker

      AvatarFinder
      DeeJuly 18, 2016Finder

      Hi Sarah,

      Thanks for your question.

      You may check personal loans for casual employees if you are a contract worker and are looking to apply for a personal loan. The eligibility criteria to apply for a personal loan differ among lenders. Please read through the page to learn some tips on how you can access a loan.

      Cheers,
      Anndy

    Default Gravatar
    BobbiFebruary 23, 2015

    Hi
    I’ve just got a full time job recently in November last year and having a 700$/week.
    What are possibilities of getting a approval and how much I can get ?
    Can I apply for it now or better to wait little bit more ?
    I never applied before so bit confuse.
    Thanks

      AvatarFinder
      JonathanFebruary 23, 2015Finder

      Hi Bobbi,

      Thanks for your inquiry.

      Generally, if you meet the minimum income requirements, have a good credit rating, and are an Australian resident/ working visa, you can be approved for a credit card. For more information on factors that you can improve to better your application requirements, please see our credit card application tips.

      Cheers,
      Jonathan

      Default Gravatar
      BobbiFebruary 23, 2015

      Hi
      Thanks for your quick reply.
      One last thing, should I apply it now or need to be wait ?
      As I join job in November.

      AvatarFinder
      JonathanFebruary 23, 2015Finder

      Hi Bobbi, thanks for your inquiry!

      It is important to note that the lender/ bank will request for supporting documents and evidence of the stated income, so unless justification can be made of the income it would be best to wait until employment commences.

      Cheers,

      Jonathan

      Default Gravatar
      BobbiFebruary 23, 2015

      Hi
      I’ve already commenced my job in last November

      AvatarFinder
      JonathanFebruary 23, 2015Finder

      Hi Bobbi, thanks for your response.

      Sorry for the misunderstanding, in this case you will be able to provide the lender with your proof of income.

      Cheers,

      Jonathan

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