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8 easy steps to apply for a credit card

By Ruth Racey
Published: Saturday, November 7th, 2009

People who had severe financial problems in the past misused and/or overused their credit card accounts can still apply for a new card. The following are some tips to consider if you are applying for a credit card or an increase in your credit limit: 

  1. Be consistent in using your name. If you have already used your middle initial in the past, always include it in your next documents. Your generation names (Jr., Sr., II, III, and so forth) are also important for efficient processing of your identity.
  2. Use newly opened credit in gasoline, bank, and department store cards, so in case your credit is on hold, you can still shop around and avail of services.
  3. Be sincere, but remain sympathetic. Sometimes, lenders tend to ignore credit problems in the past that were out of hand – for example, a job suspension or an illness.
  4. Boost your credit application. Avoid lying, but do not degrade yourself either. For example, if you are working as an administrative assistant, do not just write “clerk/typist” on your job title. Always make sure what they get from you is absolutely the truth, but still, you need to keep some honor for yourself.
  5.  File a credit application if you have more chances of getting it. For instance, you can apply when you have continued to live at a single address for at least a year, and also if you have low number of inquiries stated on your credit reports.
  6.  Apply credit from issuers with whom you have already done business. For example, if you owned a Sears card in New Jersey and you moved to Arizona, you can inquire for a Sears card in a store near your new residence.
  7. Do not easily believe credit card gimmicks. Some credit cards offer refunds and credit for future purchases, but before applying for them you might as well consider if you do indeed benefit from their deal. Some deals may be good, especially if they give your cash back, but still there is nothing better than a credit card with no annual fees and/or has a low interest rate.
  8.  Examine any pre-approval deals for non-bank cards. Non-bank cards often categorize their cards as “gold’ or “platinum”, giving the consumers lots of “benefits.” However, what is detrimental is that consumers can only purchase items from catalogs, which are provided by the company itself. No other store or establishment will accept these cards, and the company does not report your payments and charges to credit bureaus. This means you do not only mess up your credit history, you also get to buy high priced items which can be of low quality.

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