Wondering if you'll get approved?
Only 9% of Australians say they've been rejected for a credit card, according to our consumer sentiment tracker (November data). 80% of Australians say they've never been rejected for any products at all.
Credit card applications only take around 10 to 20 minutes online and you can usually get a response within 60 seconds. But if you don't know what you need to apply or are worried about being approved, these credit card application tips are a starting point that can help you increase your chances of approval.
1. Check your credit score.
When you apply for a credit card, lenders check your credit report as part of their assessment process. You can also get a copy of your credit score and report for free to get an idea of what the lender might consider.
2. Pay bills on time and work on improving your score.
If your credit score is low, paying bills on time is one way to help build good credit history. It also shows lenders that you're responsible with money, even for bills that aren't on your credit report.
3. Pay off smaller debts.
If you have existing cards or debts, paying them off or closing some of them can help improve your chance of approval. This is because lenders consider your financial commitments when you apply. So having fewer bills can help show that you're able to service a new credit card.
4. Check the eligibility criteria.
Before you apply for a credit card, you need to confirm your eligible for it. The criteria typically includes your Australian residency status, income, employment and credit history. If you don't meet all the requirements, choose a different credit card or work towards becoming eligible.
5. Don't apply for too many cards at once.
Applying for a few cards in a short amount of time can have a negative impact on your credit score, because each application is listed on your credit report. Most lenders also consider multiple applications as a red flag, regardless of your credit score.
6. Apply for a reasonable limit.
As part of Australia's credit card regulations, lenders must assess your ability to repay the entire credit limit over 3 years (with interest). So while it may be nice to have a card with a high limit, your chance of approval can increase if you keep your limit low.
7. Avoid using BNPL too much.
Buy now pay later (BNPL) services offer interest-free finance and flexibility. But too many BNPL transactions in your bank statements can indicate that your spending habits are not responsible.
When you're ready to apply for a new credit card, make sure you compare your options so you can find a card that suits you.
When you apply for a credit card online, you should get a response within 60 seconds of submitting your application. If you're successful, you will receive account details and your new card should arrive in 5 to 10 business days.
But if the card issuer requires more information, your application may be tentatively approved and you might need to supply further details. If you haven't had a response within a few days, you can usually contact the bank or check the status of your application online.
Applying for a credit card is a relatively simple process and can take as little as 10 minutes. To improve your chances of approval, compare your options, check that you meet the eligibility criteria and take the time to review your application before you submit it.
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