Finding out whether you’re approved for a credit card or not doesn’t have to take forever. Here are some tips to speed up the process.
Credit card applications are a source of frustration for many consumers. Many will have stories of credit card applications which took way longer to be processed than expected, or applications where they heard nothing from their potential card provider for weeks.
Others have been rejected without much reason why, even though on paper it may seem like there’d be no reason why they couldn’t pay off a credit card.
The aim of this article is to show you how to make your application as easy to process as possible. This will decrease the time taken to come to a decision, and the time it takes to receive your new card.
Here are some hints to speed up your application:
Give the right contact details
Check and double-check these details before submitting your contact details. If the card provider has any doubt or questions about your file they may need to speak to you and get clarification or more documentation.
If you’re able to be reached straight away and provide the necessary information the card provider will continue to process your application. If you provide a wrong number or change your number after applying you may miss this correspondence, meaning your application will not be processed any further.
Call your accounting department ahead of time
In many cases the card provider may need to verify your income by calling your employer. If you let your employer’s accountant know that you’ve applied for a credit card they’ll be able to verify your income details and your card application can continue onto the next stage.
Identify yourself online rather than in person
Some credit card providers make use of online verification programs which will verify you on the spot when you apply. Others may require you to supply them with verified identification which can take a number of days. If you’re given the option to verify your identity online it may be wise to take it.
Know your credit history
Get a copy of your credit report and search for any errors or red flags. Equifax and Dun & Bradstreet both offer your credit report directly, and if you’re prepared to wait you won’t even pay for it.
Errors and red flags on your credit report may hurt your ability to obtain new credit cards.
Where possible, have your existing accounts paid off with no late payments. Creditors consider late payments in the last year to two years as a higher credit risk. This will affect the interest rate and credit limit you’ll be offered.
Order a copy of your credit file
Receive email alerts whenever specific changes occur on your credit file for 12 months. You also receive a copy of your credit file despatched within one working day.
Receive your credit file with information on:
- Details of consumer credit enquiries
- Details of overdue consumer credit accounts
- Commercial credit enquiries
- Details of overdue commercial credit accounts
- Bankruptcy & Court Judgements
- Writs & Summons
- Information on your current relationship with a credit provider
- $79.95 p.a.
Reduce your debt-to-income ratio
Lenders use the debt-to-income ratio to determine a borrower's ability to pay down debt. The more debt you have, the less credit a lender is willing to extend. Before you apply, pay down other credit cards and loans to demonstrate your capacity to pay and control your debt. If you have more than one credit card, consider consolidating by transferring your balance to the card with the lower interest rate.
Choose the right card
Choose a credit card which fits your needs and creditworthiness. Different cards offer high credit limits or lower interest rates. Also, give thought to the amount of credit you apply for. Applying for what you can afford will speed up your credit card application.
If you choose a card with a high credit limit, despite blemishes on your credit report, you will slow the approval process and increase your chances for rejection. Your income will also have a bearing on whether or not you should apply for a card in the first place. Many cards today will list a minimum income requirement. If they don’t, there may be a minimum credit limit listed, which will be a clue of the minimum income required.
Know the lender's policy
Many lenders provide their credit approval process to you on their websites or upon request. Read the requirements to ensure you meet them before you apply. Many card providers will have different requirements for those who aren’t permanent residents, or may not offer cards at all for instance, so applying for one might be useless.
Reading the application carefully will also let you know if the card is something you can apply for. It’ll mention all of the requirements you need to fulfil and what you need to provide to have your application approved.
Gather the required information
Have all of the information you will need to complete the application at your fingertips. You will need your personal identification, employment information and other identifying information, such as outstanding debts.
When applying online, many forms will not let you progress to another part of the application until you have completed all of the required fields. If the information is at hand, you will not risk having to begin the application again because of time constraints built into internet-based applications.
Be certain your online application is on a secure server, as this will reduce your risk of online identity theft. Secure websites begin with "https://" and will display a lock in your browser window.
Ensure your application is accurate
As you fill in the application, check for errors. Be certain you have entered your personal information in correctly. Typographic errors can mean the wrong information is sent to the lender. Mistake-free information will speed up your credit card application process.
If you have applied for the credit card which fits your needs and entered or submitted your information correctly, your approval should arrive in short order. Online applications can be approved in as little as 60 seconds. Telephone approval takes a few minutes after you give your information to the operator. Paper applications take the longest because they must be mailed, received and processed before the approval is sent back to you by mail.