How long does it take to get a credit card?

Most credit card companies are now able to give you an instant decision within 60 seconds of you applying for a credit card but there are still a few who can take up to 5 days to give you a decision. Your credit card if approved immediately will be in your letterbox within 7 days.

How long does a credit card take to be approved?

Most credit cards will be approved in less than 60 seconds but some providers may take up to 14 days to approve your credit card. This may be due to the fact that they need to do a manual onboarding process by calling you and confirming you understand the terms of the credit card or it could be because they want to offer you a money transfer from your credit card( which costs you). Credit card companies such as vanquis do this.

Can I get a credit card the same day I apply?

Some credit card providers will provide your details for your card through the app on the same day and you can begin to use your credit card on the same day once activated.

In most cases, you won’t be able to get a credit card the same day you apply as most credit card providers do not operate a branch where consumers can walk into and pick up their cards. Your credit card will need to be posted to your address and this could take up to 7 working days.

Getting a credit card for the first time isn’t difficult. You can simply go online and search for credit card providers or search for a credit card through a comparison website.

Before you get a credit card for the first time you may want to do some basic housekeeping prior to even searching. First, check your credit score to see if it is at least average. If it isn’t then you stand a chance of getting rejected by the credit card provider. If you are rejected for a credit card you could then end up with an even worse credit score. If your credit is low then you should build credit by practising good credit behaviours.

These days most credit card providers will perform a soft credit search which will not damage your score and let you know if you will be accepted with them before you go on to make a full credit card application.

How do you know if you will be approved for a credit card?

Most credit card brokers and credit card providers will now provide you with an eligibility checker which lets you know if you will be eligible for their credit cards before you make a full credit card application.

What happens if you don’t get approved for a credit card?

If you don’t get approved for a credit card this will likely leave a negative mark on your credit card. The credit card provider may tell you why you weren’t approved but more likely they will refer you to the credit bureau which they got information to assess your affordability for their credit card.

If you are rejected for a credit card you shouldn’t make any further applications but rather you should check your credit score and history to see why you may have been rejected.

This could include:

  • A recent default on your credit file
  • A bankruptcy on your credit file
  • A county court judgement (CCJ) on your credit file
  • An individual voluntary agreement on your credit file.

Whatever it is you should then look to build credit so your score can increase and your eligibility for a credit card can improve.

How long should I wait to apply for another credit card after being approved?

You may be able to apply for a new credit card within the week but ideally, you should do this through a wellbeing platform that shows your credit cards you are approved for so to prevent you from being rejected and ruining your credit score.

A lot of blogs will tell you 6 months but they are simply guessing. Take the guesswork out of it and only apply to credit cards where you are eligible.

Why was I not approved for a credit card?

There are several reasons why not be approved for a credit card. They include:

  • You could have failed the credit card providers fraud check
  • You may have too much debt in your credit file
  • You may have a low credit score and history with things such as CCJs, bankruptcies and defaults on your credit file. You should look to build your credit to improve your credit card affordability.
  • You may also be rejected if you already have too much available credit from other credit providers listed on your credit file.

Do credit card companies check your income?

Typically credit card providers will not verify your income information as they will make their lending decision mostly around your credit score and history.

A credit card provider will usually only look to verify your income when it fears you may have not been accurate in the information you provided. They may request your payslips or a letter from your employer as proof of your income.

New technology( open banking ) is now available where credit card providers will be able to verify your income and this may already be in use by some credit card providers.

Does applying for a credit card hurt your score?

Yes, applying for a credit card could hurt your score however if this is a soft enquiry or an eligibility check then your score will not be hurt but you will be able to see the inquiry( no one else will). When lenders make a hard inquiry this usually leaves a mark on your score and can momentarily( for a month) push it down. Too many hard inquiries on your credit file will negatively impact your score.

This is why you should never make too many credit applications in such a short time.

What happens if you are refused credit?

If you are refused credit this damages your credit score and pushes it down as it is an indication that you are not creditworthy. If you are refused credit you should avoid applying for credit within a short space of time and rather look at your credit score and history to see what could be pulling it down and then attempt to build credit by following best guides on credit building.

If you do apply for more credit then ensure you apply for credit you are prequalified for or guaranteed to be approved for.

How often should I apply for a credit card?

You can apply for a credit card as often as you want to as long as you are eligible and prequalified for the credit card then this may be fine. If you apply for credit when you are not eligible or prequalified then you could get rejected and leave a negative mark on your credit file.

Is it bad to apply for 2 credit cards at once?

Yes as one application will come in before the other one and it might appear as if you are desperate to get credit by making multiple hard inquiries on your credit profile.

How long does it take to increase the credit limit?

Increasing the credit limit on a credit card is done by different credit card providers at different times. There is not a single use case for how and when they may increase your credit limit but generally if your credit score increases and you always repay your credit card in full every month then it is likely you will receive a credit limit increase.

If your credit score and history are low you should build credit to improve your chances of a credit limit increase.

How many credit cards can you have before it hurts your credit?

There isn’t a particular guide on how many credit cards you will have before it starts becoming negative. In fact typically more available credit you have, the better your credit score.

Can I get a credit card without a job?

Yes, you can get a credit card without a job as long as you have a good credit score and history. If you don’t then you may want to build credit to improve your affordability.

If you need financial advice and you live in the UK then you could contact the Money Advice service over the phone or via chat for impartial advice.

You can also contact the debt charity “Step Change” if you are in debt and need help.

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