Credit Card Applications: How to Avoid Costly Mistakes

By Leni Parrish on July 20, 2009

You might feel shy about asking relevant questions about credit cards for fear of being viewed as not savvy. Some of the questions that you should raise about credit card applications are:

* When can you apply for a credit card? In general, anyone who is 18 years of age and older can apply for a credit card. In some states the age limit may be lower but this general rule applies for all: as soon as a person reaches the legal age, he or she will be able to apply for a credit line.

* Is a bank account needed in order to get a credit card? Most credit card companies refuse to issue a credit line to someone who does not own at least one bank account under their name.

* Does the bank account have to be under the same bank that will issue the credit card? The answer to this question is no, as long as the credit card issuer can determine the worthiness of your credit, it will not matter which bank you prefer to have an account with. However, if you apply for a secured credit card, you need to have a secured deposit of a certain amount in the same institution that specifically chosen by the credit card issuer.

* Are you allowed to apply for more than one credit card at a time? You can apply for as many credit cards as you want but you should be warned beforehand that multiple credit card applications can affect your credit score in a negative manner.

* Will it matter if you have a bad credit history? The moment you fill out an application form for a credit card, it means that you are allowing the company permission to request a credit report from one of the credit reporting agencies.  Applying for just about any credit card offered to you can ultimately hurt your credit score making it more difficult for you to get a loan when the time comes that you really need one.

* What are the things that should be taken note of when filling out a credit card application? If you are taking your application seriously, you need to read the fine print on the contract. Online applications will usually provide you with a separate link for the terms and conditions. If you are not careful, you might end up signing an agreement that is asking you to pay for an application fee, processing fee or an annual fee which they will be more than happy to charge your new credit card.

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