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Getting Fast Results: 5 Essential Steps You Need to Take When Applying for a Credit Card

Applying for a credit card might be a difficult chore if it’s not something that you have done before. Still, it’s not so complicated if you reduce the process to a few steps and then be methodical about it. You can compare here if you want to see some different credit cards and interest rates, but you should also be prepared for these five steps, none of which you can circumvent.

Check Your Credit Score

Your credit score is going to matter as you hunt for a credit card since a lower score will disqualify you from some of the more luxurious cards that are available. If you have a 550, for instance, then your range of options is going to be much more limited than if you have a 750. 850 is considered to be perfect credit, but it’s almost impossible to achieve, so if you have anything approaching 800, you should feel that you are in good shape.

Think About What Kind of Card You Need

Some cards offer all kinds of different perks. There are ones that offer miles for airlines like Delta and United. Others allow you access to clubs at sporting arenas and other venues. Some give you extra cash back on certain purchases like gas and groceries, while others give you a set amount of money back on all purchases. Think about which of these is most appealing to you. You should also consider whether you would feel most comfortable with an American Express card, Visa, Mastercard, or something else. Some cards, like American Express, are not accepted everywhere.

Are You Prequalified?

You should figure out if you are prequalified for the card for which you are applying. Sometimes you’ll get card offers in the mail, and in that case, it is evident that your credit has been approved. However, if you’re looking into it yourself, you may need to peruse the website for the card in question and see what you’re going to need for approval. If your credit score isn’t up to par, you’ll need to look elsewhere.

Get Ready for a Hit to Your Credit

Applying for a credit card adversely affects your credit rating. It seems unfair, but that’s just how it is. Luckily, the bump shouldn’t be too dramatic, and you will creep back up as long as you make smart financial decisions for the next few months after you apply.

Use Best Practices

Once you have the credit card, the urge might be to go on a spending spree. Don’t do it. Just because a credit card is new, that doesn’t mean going wild with it is not going to have consequences. You may be excited about the perks but spend within your budget. Try to pay off the whole balance each month, and don’t carry anything over to the next month on which you will need to pay interest.

Applying for a credit card and getting approved for one can be exciting. Once the card is in your possession, though, be careful with it. It is easy for even disciplined people to get in trouble with debt, so don’t let it happen to you.

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