Can I get a credit card?
Most of us are aware of the potential benefits a credit card can offer, but are left with several questions regarding what kinds of card are available and, more importantly, whether or not we’ll actually be able to get one.
Unfortunately, making several applications to credit card issuers can adversely affect your credit rating and so before you do so, have a quick read of this guide to find out if you’ll be an appropriate and viable candidate for credit.
Who can take out a credit card?
Legally, the only requirements you need to meet in order to take out a credit card are being over the age of 18, and being a UK resident.
However, beyond this, each credit card company will have various different conditions you have to meet before they’ll accept your application.
These conditions will vary from company to company and will also depend on the kind of card you’re trying to take out. Some cards will only be available to people with fantastic credit reports and high annual incomes, whereas some are designed specifically for people with poor credit ratings.
As a general rule though, the better your credit score, and the more financially stable you are, the more likely you are to be accepted by a credit card issuer. Essentially, the less it looks like you actually need a credit card, the more likely you are to be able to get one.
The most important tool in your arsenal when you come to apply for a credit card will be your credit rating.
The better your credit rating, the easier you’ll find it to get a credit card, all other things being equal.
You can improve your credit rating by keeping up to date with any kind of payments, from mortgages to mobile phone bills. It is also worth noting that if you’ve never had a loan or used credit before, your credit score will be lower than if you have borrowed and paid it back successfully.
Luckily though, if your credit rating isn’t quite up to scratch, there are various products available to help you improve it.
Credit building credit cards, as the name suggests, allow you to borrow and use credit and steadily improve your credit score as you do so.
These kinds of cards come with low spending limits and high APRs, with a view to enforcing responsible borrowing. As you use these cards, as long as you keep up with monthly repayments, your credit rating will get better and better, improving your chances of taking our better credit in the future.
How do I apply for a credit card?
Applying for a credit card is relatively simple, just have a look at what kind of cards are available once you know what you’re after, and get in touch with the card issuing company.
Before anything else, you should carefully take stock of your finances so that you know exactly what you can afford to borrow and to be reasonably expected to pay back.
In order to see what kinds of cards are available, have a look at our credit card comparison page. We’ll show you a list of the best cards in each category and let you know what kind of requirements you’ll need to meet in order to get them.