How to answer credit card application questions? When applying for a credit card for the first time, it may seem challenging because you are still determining the questions that will be asked. You may believe that you will need to be very knowledgeable about every aspect of your life and that if you get anything wrong, it will reject you.
You only need to provide basic information about yourself and your finances, so don’t worry. We’ll walk you through the kind of inquiries that credit card applicants will make so that you are prepared and can relax.
What questions are they likely to ask?
Applications for credit cards often only require your personal information. This includes information such as your full name (no abbreviations! ), address, and any former addresses you’ve had in the past few years, as well as your employment status and annual income. The application may also request information about your bank account so that it may be connected to your credit card.
You’ll need to disclose how much you spend on various expenses, such as your rent, mortgage, and childcare costs. This is only to see if you can simultaneously pay your regular bills and credit card repayments.
You could be required to provide more detailed information about your financial situation depending on the credit card you’re applying for. For instance, the form will ask you for information about the credit cards and loans you wish to transfer if you apply for a balance transfer credit card. And you must enter the basic knowledge of any other cardholders you want to add.
As you can see, credit card application forms shouldn’t ask you any questions you can’t answer because they aren’t meant to trip you up. But determining if a credit card company will accept your application might take time and effort.
On The Application, What Questions Will Be Asked?
Be ready to provide a lot of personal information; it will be required of you.
Why? The card issuer will typically use the data to determine whether or not to grant you a credit card. Most credit cards require a credit check, typically conducted with one of the three largest credit bureaus. After all, you are receiving the credit from the credit card company. It is putting all of its trust in you to cover all charges made to the card. It’s similar to applying for a loan in that regard.
Although specific details can vary between credit card issuers, generally speaking, the following information is required:
- Social Security number.
- Date of birth.
- Security questions.
- Contact information.
- A promise to tell the truth.
- Agreement to terms and conditions.
- Authorized users.
Social Security number
Since this is the most private information you will be asked for, we’ll discuss it first. It is necessary for the majority of credit card applications. According to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, that is acceptable and typical. The card issuer investigates your credit history and validates your identity using your Social Security number. Individual taxpayer identity numbers, or ITINs, which are comparable, can be used in place of Social Security numbers if you don’t have any.
If you’re speaking with the issuer directly, disclosing these numbers is okay. The application can be completed on the issuer’s website, where legitimate card comparison websites will point you.
Some people find this question to be challenging.
According to federal legislation, the issuer is required to take action to determine your repayment capacity. Additionally, creditors use your reported income to evaluate the amount of credit they should extend. They frequently inquire about your income sources, such as your job or other sources.
Your employment status, such as whether you work full- or part-time, are self-employed, retired, or are a student, is a frequently linked inquiry.
For instance, you may still be authorized if your income is impacted by factors like being retired, jobless, or a non-earning spouse in a household.
Date of Birth
Technically, after you are 18, you can apply for a credit card. However, you’ll typically need to be 21. If you’re under 21, you can only get accepted if you have independent income or are a co-signer.
Someone might inquire about your mother’s maiden name, for example. Alternatively, you can be asked to make up a security phrase, perhaps your pet’s name.
Utilize your legal name. To obtain a credit card issued in the U.S., you will typically also require a U.S. residential mailing address. Sometimes a post office box address won’t work. Additionally, some cards are only available in a few states.
Your email address, phone number, and occasionally even a cell number so the issuer can text you are possible additional forms of contact information. Your citizenship in the United States may also be questioned.
A commitment to being honest
Frequently, you must mark the box indicating that the data you are supplying is accurate. Lying is not advised.
Understanding of the terms and conditions
The fine print, often known as the terms and conditions, may be forced upon you by the issuer. Among other things, they contain information about rates and fees. There is frequently a checkbox.
On the application, many issuers will ask if you wish to add authorized users. You have the option to add authorized users straight away or after skipping this step.
How To Answer Credit Card Application Questions Correctly
How do you respond to questions on a credit card application about your monthly expenses, housing costs, yearly income, and total assets?
These ostensibly simple queries may have subtle nuances that make it challenging to give the correct answer.
It is best to give truthful, precise responses constantly. If the bank reviews your credit card application and confirms your reactions before making a decision, the truth will come out.
Data from your consumer report are supplemented by the information you supply. Your response will determine whether or not you can administer the new account appropriately and, more crucially, whether you are approved.
What To Put For Monthly Housing Payment Credit Card Application?
What To Put For Monthly Housing Payment Credit Card Application? When filling out a credit card application, many still determine what to enter as their monthly housing payment. If you require clarification on this issue, you are not alone.
Banks assess your free cash flow, or the amount of your net income left over after paying fixed expenses, by asking you “rent, own, or other” and related questions. Denials typically have less, whereas approvals generally have more.
If you fully comprehend what a monthly housing payment means, you will be better equipped to enter the pertinent data on your credit card application.
The fixed expenses you have each month to live in your primary residence, which you may rent or own, are included in your monthly housing payment.
The lease agreement’s stipulated monthly rent that you pay to live in an apartment
Homeowners’ monthly payments for their mortgage, insurance, and property taxes
Issuing banks understand that borrowers who struggle financially will put their fixed monthly housing payments before their unsecured credit card debt. People will default on unsecured debts before a mortgage or apartment lease because they dread homelessness more than a wage garnishment.
If a tenant has roommates, they should include the shared rent in their monthly housing payment response. Credit card applications inquire about your fixed costs, not the debts of the tenants that share your rental property.
Most landlords and apartment agreements require the roommate to physically pay their portion of the monthly rent. Landlords frequently obtain consumer reports on each co-tenant before requesting co-signers (from parents) as necessary.
Loans for rental security deposits function according to similar underwriting guidelines.
Add utilities in
Because credit card applications do not inquire about variable expenses, consumers do not need to include utilities in their monthly housing payment response. The monthly amount to cover the gas, electric, and water bills fluctuate.
Utility costs may be reduced through free grant money for bills and personal expenses. Additionally, the weather and your decisions might have a significant impact.
Natural gas and heating oil expenditures can be reduced by raising the thermostat in the winter and installing insulation.
Turning off lights, televisions, laptops, and other appliances, as well as opening windows and curtains in the summer, reduces the need for air conditioning, lowering the cost of electricity.
Your water cost can be reduced by taking shorter showers and disabling the automatic lawn sprinklers.
Stay with your parents.
Your credit card application should indicate rent or other than your own if you live with your parents. What your parents charge you to live in their basement or your former bedroom should be included in the monthly housing cost.
Your parents charge rent as a monthly payment to cover living expenses.
- Own: Your name is on the deed to the property and the mortgage agreement with your parents (rare)
- To save you money, your parents don’t charge you anything else.
How Should I Enter My Annual Income?
On their credit card application, most persons should disclose their annual net income, which is their gross income less any taxes, health insurance premiums, and retirement contributions that may have been withheld.
In other words, at the end of each payment cycle, the credit card companies want to know how much cash is available to pay them. As a result, you should cite all available sources.
- Salary, commissions, bonuses, tips, and other forms of compensation are all considered wages.
- Child support, alimony, and additional court-ordered payments
- Retirement benefits under Social Security
- Disability benefits under Social Security
- Structured settlements resulting from legal actions or insurance contracts
- Interest from savings, trust funds, and investments
What to list as income on credit card applications for college students has a more nuanced solution. Pay great attention to prevent issues when the bill is due in the future.
For starters, student loans are not considered income. You must fulfill loans, and your credit report will reflect this. Any extra money borrowed to cover living expenses might be reported as an asset though it is temporary.
Second, the percentage of student financial aid (tuition, fees, and textbooks) not used to pay for courses is considered income. You can mention financial assistance like stipends and wages from employment.
Third, students may add “accessible income,” subject to age-specific regulations.
- If you are under 21: Regularly deposited earnings into your name-brand bank account
- Over 21: Regular usage of earnings from parents or spouses to cover bills from any bank account.
Stay-At-Home-Mothers (SAHMs) who are applying for credit cards may now know what to list as their income according to a 2013 amendment to Regulation Z. SAHMs may not have outside income although having necessary jobs.
Emergency loans for stay-at-home moms frequently adhere to the same guidelines as the Regulation Z updates intended to reduce default while granting credit to underserved groups.
Any income sources supported by a non-applicant may be considered “accessible income.”
- Contributions made to a joint checking account with the applicant
- Deposits into a bank account that the applicant does not have access to but which periodically transfers funds to the applicant’s checking account
- Uses some of the money from the non-applicant to cover the applicant’s expenses
What Are the Total Assets You Have Access To?
You can be surprised by the total available assets for credit card applications. The banks are using this inquiry to gauge the extent of your safety net—the resources you can draw upon in a financial emergency to make your monthly payments on time.
When applying for a credit card, total available assets refer to your current liquid assets. Assets that can be easily converted into cash without suffering significant value loss are known as liquid assets.
Cash, stocks, bonds, certificates of deposits, and shares held in bank or investment accounts are a few examples of liquid assets.
Consumers can quickly use their liquid assets to pay their credit card obligations when facing financial difficulty, preventing late payments or default.
Illiquid assets should not be listed on a credit card application because they do not contribute to the total amount of resources accessible. In a time of financial crisis, you can sell illiquid assets and turn them into cash, but frequently at a significant loss.
Some famous examples of illiquid assets are your home, car, boat, jewelry, musical instruments, and artwork. To swiftly turn into cash, they can also include other expensive resources.
A common feature of mutual funds is early withdrawal penalties.
There are tax penalties for early withdrawals from 401K and IRA money.
How much money do you plan to spend each month?
Many banks will inquire how much you intend to use this credit card each month. In this situation, they aim to determine your potential for earning money and select an acceptable account limit.
A typical exchange fee is 3% of every purchase.
Those who have a balance on a revolving basis pay interest.
The best response to the question of how much you spend on credit cards each month is an honest estimate that aligns with your previous answers. The amount should be appropriate given your free cash flow, defined as income less fixed expenses.
Consider a scenario where your fixed housing costs are $1,400 per month and your monthly income is $5,000, leaving you with $3,600 to cover other living expenses.
The back-end debt-to-income ratio for an auto loan maybe 36%, which means that your fixed car payment eats up an extra $400 a month (28% for housing plus 8% for the vehicle), leaving you with $3,200 to cover variable expenses like gas, utilities, groceries, etc.
The best action in this situation might be to choose a spending amount in the middle of your free cash flow after fixed expenses, or $1,600.
The worst response to the question about how much money you spend on this credit card each month is dramatically out of line with your earlier answers to the questions about your salary and where you live. In other words, you want to be a reasonable amount.
If your fixed housing expenditures are $1,400 per month and your monthly salary is $5,000, you would have $3,600 to pay for additional living expenses.
A monthly spending estimate of $100 would need to be higher. Because you wouldn’t produce any significant interchange fees or interest charges, the bank would categorize you as having limited revenue.
A $4,000 monthly expenditure forecast would be excessive, and the bank would put you in the high-risk group since charging more than you can afford to pay back increases the likelihood of a payment default.
Where To Find Applications For Credit Cards?
Unsurprisingly, applying for a credit card online using a computer, tablet, or smartphone is widespread.
The website of the card issuer and a website that compares cards are two sites where you may discover online applications. (You will be directed to the issuer’s website; you won’t be able to apply directly on the comparison website.) Credit card offers are frequently the same wherever you see them, but this is only sometimes the case. On their websites or those of their partners, such as card comparison websites, issuers occasionally test out different offers.
If you are given a credit card, the credit card provider may pay a comparison site a commission.
The majority of individuals will be familiar with online credit card applications. They are comparable to filling out forms for many other things, such as shipping information when making an online purchase.
You can apply within the app if you already have a banking app and are getting a card from the same bank.
Within the mail
The credit card offers sent via direct mail are typical. The traditional method would be to complete the information on the paper form and mail it back, but you could wait much longer for a response.
You can fill out an application by walking into various banks or credit unions. Again, credit card offers are typically the same whether you apply in person or online. Still, an issuer occasionally presents a different deal at its bank branch that may be better, worse, or just different.
Although you might find it difficult to vocally respond to every question on an application, the card issuer you’re interested in accepting phone applications.
Should I first be preapproved or prequalified?
The card issuer can be contacted to determine the requirements for a given card. Yet others provide preapproval or prequalification as well. Knowing whether you’ll be accepted is helpful because applying for a card may temporarily lower your credit scores.
If you receive a real preapproval, your chances of receiving the card increase. But understand the distinction between prequalification and preapproval. You’re usually only prequalifying.
How soon will I learn if I’ve been accepted?
The response is based on the application method you choose. You might learn the results of your online application instantly, within seconds. Other approaches, such as applying by mail, can require several working days.
When can I start using my new credit card?
After receiving approval, some issuers will only let you use your credit card account once you receive your actual card in the mail.
However, many issuers now let you use the card number immediately.
If you need to know what information the credit card company will need, you might be hesitant to apply for one. Therefore, you should always check if there are any credit card requirements before beginning any application. When you apply for a credit card, the application will be immediately rejected if, for instance, the credit card specifies that you must be at least 18 and make at least £12,000 annually.
Additionally, it would help if you double-checked your entry for accurate information. Any credit card company will run a credit check on you when you apply to see whether they wish to accept you. They’ll use this to confirm your information as well. The application may reject you if the information you enter differs from the information in your credit history.