Applying for a credit card is something you should do once you’ve assessed your finances and made sure that you can afford to make repayments on a monthly basis. You need to be clear about why you are applying for the credit card as well as how you’ll be using it.

There are a few things to keep in mind when you want to apply for a credit card:

Get savvy about credit scores and check your credit report.

You should know that your credit score is based on factors such as:

  • Payment history
  • Debt amounts owed
  • Length of credit history
  • Type of credit
  • New credit inquiries

You should know that your credit score is a major determinant in your credit card application. How well you’ve managed other debts will influence the decision on whether to grant you credit or not.

Consider the type of credit card you need

If you travel often, a credit card offering a great travel rewards programme may be ideal. A low annual percentage rate (APR) credit card may be ideal if you are looking for balance transfer options. Choose a rewards card that matches your needs.

Be wary of applying for too many credit cards at the same time.

Applying for too many credit cards at the same time raises red flags with credit providers and may have a negative effect on your credit score. Before submitting a credit card application, try to pay off any balances you may already have with that card issuer.

Be ready to prove that you can make payments.

During the application process you need to be as transparent as possible. You must be able to provide proof of income and that you can afford credit card payments.

Understand credit terms.

You need to know what the terminology in your credit agreement means.

Make sure that you reduce your other debts before you apply for a credit card

Pay down other debts, in order to increase your chances of approval.