Ready to apply for a credit card, but worried about being denied? If you’ve made some mistakes in the past, have a limited credit history or are completely unsure about your overall credit situation, it can be difficult to choose the right offer. Every time you apply for a credit card and get turned down it will have a negative impact on your credit score. Too many denials over a short period of time could severely limit your ability to borrow and make your situation even worse. Luckily, there are some simple things you can do to improve your chances of being approved. Some credit card issuers will even provide you with the opportunity to get ‘pre-qualified’, without negatively affecting your credit rating.
Beef Up Your Credit Score
Issuers consider a variety of factors when determining credit card approvals, but your credit score is by far the most important factor. Representing your overall creditworthiness, your credit score takes into account several items, including your payment history and total amount of outstanding debt. Although it can’t be improved overnight, there are a few simple things you can do to beef up your credit score and improve your chances of a credit card approval:
- Pay down your existing debt: If you’re carrying debt and using a high percentage of your available credit, it makes you appear desperate to potential lenders. Lowering your credit utilization rate by paying down some of your debt could significantly raise your credit score.
- Request a credit limit increase: Another simple way to lower your credit utilization rate is to raise your available credit. If you have a line of credit already, choose an account with a flawless payment history and negotiate directly with the issuer to increase your credit limit. Keep in mind, this may require a ‘hard inquiry’ on your credit report.
- Check your credit report: Checking your credit report at least once per year is a good rule of thumb. Make sure you’ve checked it recently, since a simple mistake could make the difference between a credit card approval or denial. Check it for free at www.annualcreditreport.com
- Limit credit inquiries: Every time a creditor checks your credit, it results in a credit inquiry. Although a couple of the steps listed above may require a credit inquiry, the goal is to avoid excessively applying for credit cards or loans over a short period of time.
* Don’t expect your credit to improve right away by following these tips. It may take several months for the improvements to be reflected in your credit score.
Choose the Right Credit Card Offer
For the best chance of getting approved for a credit card, it’s important to choose an offer that falls within your credit range. All of the credit card offers featured on our website include the required credit level (excellent, good, fair, poor, limited, etc.), along with the average credit score of approved applicants. If you know your credit score you can use this information to determine the appropriate credit card offer and strongly improve your chances of getting approved.
Get Pre-Qualified Online – Capital One Card Finder Tool
If you don’t know your credit score and are still unsure about which offer to choose, it might be worth getting ‘pre-qualified’ for a credit card. Most issuers do not pre-qualify applicants online, but Capital One is one of the few companies that provides this service. The Capital One Card Finder Tool is an excellent way to see which offers you qualify for without negatively affecting your credit score. Simply answer a few questions about your financial objectives and provide some basic information about your credit history and Capital One will provide a list of offers that are available to you within seconds. This process does not produce a credit inquiry; therefore it has no impact on your overall credit rating.
Keep in mind, getting pre-qualified for a credit card does not guarantee a credit card approval. After you accept an offer and fill out the application, a complete evaluation of your credit history is required to determine your approval status. Although you’re much more likely to get approved for a credit card by getting pre-qualified, there’s no way to guarantee an approval without running your credit report and doing a thorough evaluation of your finances. This applies to the Capital One Card Finder, as well as any ‘pre-approved’ credit cards you receive in the mail.
* Compare a complete list of offers at www.wowcreditcards.com