When filling out a credit card application, you’ll likely need to provide the following information:
Your full legal name and date of birth
Home address, phone number and email address
Current and previous employers
Social Security Number
Information about your other credit cards
Having the right information available will streamline the turnaround from application to response and increase your likelihood of being approved.
Questions to Ask
Answer these questions before selecting the best card for you:
Do I need this card? Having a credit card is a great way to build your credit history, but adding more cards to your wallet shouldn’t be done lightly. Consider looking for a card that offers different features than the one you already have, such as a lower interest rate. If you’re applying for another credit card because you’ve reached the limit on your other account, it would be best to pay down your balance before taking on more debt than you can handle.
What are the terms of this card? Understand the Annual Percentage Rate (APR), whether there is an annual fee and what sort of penalties there are for late payments.
Do the benefits fit my lifestyle? Reviewing your monthly expenses and matching them to a card’s benefits will ensure you’re choosing a card that is going to work for you instead of making you work for it.
Have I explored all of my options? There are many different credit cards available. If you aren’t sure if the card you’ve been considering will be right for you, it’s best to do some research to see what card best fits your lifestyle. Navy Federal’s credit card wizard is a great resource for that. It will guide you through the best options.
Effect on Credit
Applying for multiple credit cards or lines of credit can lower your credit score, but how much depends on the frequency and timing of your application(s). When you apply for credit, the credit card issuer conducts what is referred to as an inquiry or a credit pull. This is when they request your credit history from one of the national credit bureaus. In most circumstances, applying for credit fewer than a dozen times in a short span—a month to a month and a half —will not have as much impact on your credit score as applying for credit too frequently over a longer period of time. When your credit shopping goes on for too long or becomes too frequent, it reflects poorly on your creditworthiness because it signals you may not be qualifying for a new credit card. If qualifying has become an issue, consult a financial counselor for help.
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