You can apply for your first credit card in a number of ways. You can get an application from a bank directly, from a credit company or an agency, or via the Internet. The Internet may be the easiest way.
Here is the information you will need to complete your application: age, name, employer, annual household income. With this information, a credit card company will be able to verify your credit history. This is what they use to determine whether or not to extend you credit.
Your annual percentage rate (APR), or the percentage of interest you’ll pay on an outstanding balance, will be determined by this score as well. The better your credit score, the lower the APR you are given.
Always read the fine print when you apply for a credit card. You’ll notice that promotional literature and credit sales persons will tell you all about the benefits of having a card. They won’t go into the drawbacks. There are conditions and negatives to having the card, too, and these are usually hidden in the fine print.
First, check the APR. Often the APR starts out really low, making the card sound like a great deal. But it isn’t a great deal if, after a time, the APR rises sharply. Consider the APR in the long run, not just during the initial introductory period.
Why can apply? Any US citizen who is at least 18 (in some states, younger) can legally apply for a credit card with any US bank. Most don’t require that you have an account to get a card.
Applying for a number of cards all at the same time will drop your credit score, so be careful. It’s generally better to apply for only one or two at a time.
Right now there is a lot of competition in the credit card market. The different providers are looking to find new businesses to open up accounts. Because of this you may get promotions to lure you to their company. Check across companies to assess the best deal for you.
This author also frequently writes on products including plastic shelving and plastic envelopes.