Wait, How Long Does it Take to Get Approved for a Credit Card?
Applying for a credit card has become so easy that it can be done in a matter of minutes. Just visit the card’s website, submit your information and wait for the credit card issuer to get back to you. You should receive a decision within a few days, sometimes even instantly. However, before you apply you’ll want to take careful stock of your credit history and score so that you can maximize your chances of approval. Each application (and its result) becomes part of your credit history, so it’s a good idea to only apply for cards which are likely to be approved.
How to Increase Your Chances of Approval
Get your credit in order. If your credit score is a little lower than you’d like, there are a few things you can do to quickly boost your score and improve your chances of approval. You can raise your score by paying off any outstanding debts or lowering what you already owe on your other credit cards–high credit card debt can be seen as a warning sign for creditors when you’re applying for a new card. To figure out if your current credit card debt is going to be a red flag, you’ll want to calculate your credit utilization ratio by dividing your outstanding debt over your available credit. Conventional wisdom says that this should never come out to more than 30%–so if your available credit on a card is $1,000, you’ll want to make sure your outstanding balance is less than $300.
Secured credit cards offer another means for increasing your credit score–you’ll have to put down a deposit on the account, but paying off your balance each month is a surefire way to steadily increase your score and improve your chances of approval for other unsecured credit cards.
Once you feel your credit score is ready to submit an application, there are a few simple steps that could increase your chances of being approved. Credit card companies will be looking closely at your debt-to-income ratio to determine whether you’ll be able to pay off your monthly balance. This means maximizing your income is almost as important as reducing any outstanding debt. So if you have any side gigs that bring in supplementary income, like tutoring or babysitting, you’ll want to make sure you include those when estimating your annual income. You should never knowingly provide false information to a credit card company–credit card fraud is a criminal offense and can be met with punishments as serious as jail time. With that being said, it’s important to be honest when reporting your annual income.
With a high credit score, low credit utilization and debt-to-income ratios, you should have a good chance at having your credit card application approved. After taking a close look at all of these, the credit card company should have an answer for you within the next three to seven days.