If you have never had a credit card and are now thinking about applying for one, you are probably more than a little nervous. You keep thinking about the possibility of being rejected. Here are suggestions for things you can do to make sure your application sails through:
Choose the right card. There are two types:
Low interest credit cards and
Reward based credit cards.
If you want a credit card only for emergency use, choose the low interest card.
If you want a credit card for shopping then choose the reward based credit card.
Prepare everything you need for the application, including photos, Social Security number, valid IDs, proof of income and billing. Check your credit ranking. If it's below 620, you must carry out repairs to your credit score. If you are a student, prepare proof that you are studying.
When you have done all this apply online for a credit card. The first section will ask you to provide your contact details. Remember to give a landline number so they can contact you if they want to invite you to an interview.
The next section will be about your employment status and history. They basically want to know if you're currently employed and how long you've been with your current employer. This allows them to judge whether you are a responsible and reliable person. Of course the longer you've been with your employer the better.
You will have to divulge your earnings. They will ask for your gross income, the amount you earn. This allows them to determine how high your credit card limit should be. If you plan giving an extension or supplementary card to someone else, you could also choose the limit on his or her card.
You will have to give details of your checking or savings accounts. If you don't have one of these it's not a problem. On the other hand, having one will help the credit card company evaluate your application.
When you have completed the application form, submit it. You will soon know the results. You may receive a call asking for additional information. Answer all the questions.
If you are rejected, keep calm. Ask the reasons for your rejection and then decide what to do next. Perhaps you could ask your employer or a relative with a good credit score to serve as your guarantor when you next apply.
Well, I never do and I know that many other people don’t bother to sign the back of their credit cards. Perhaps they worry that it is handing their signature for thieves to copy. But the problem is that stores are not supposed to accept credit cards that have not been signed by the customer.
It has happened to me. A cashier turned my card over and saw that it was unsigned and then called the manager to check the procedure. I had to prove that I was the owner of the card. Luckily I had my driver’s license with a picture on it that served as my identity card. But it all took time and resulted in some pretty icy comments from those waiting in line behind me.
Of course, the signature provides some sort of card protection in the event of a theft. An unsigned card can be signed by anyone and taken to be the card owner’s signature. I know someone who insists that the best protection he can get for his card is to write “SEE ID”" on the back, along with his signature. All that will do, as far as I am concerned, is to possibly make the clerk ask to see his ID when she sees this note. I don’t think this is much protection.
Lately I find more stores asking for an ID when I hand over my card to pay for something. And there are a few stores that always ask for an ID. I’m sure customers always have great excuses for not having an ID on them. I have shopped successfully with my wife’s credit card in quite a few stores, and she has used mine on occasion.
So it seems that signing or not signing your card does little to protect it from abuse. There are too many places where neither the signature nor the identification of the card user, or abuser, will be checked. I keep an eye on my card at all times and the moment I think it’s lost or been stolen, I report it as such. The fee for issuing a new card is a lot less than a thief can spend in five minutes.