When people apply for credit cards, lenders check them out thoroughly, so it's not surprising that many people get turned down. Here's a guide to what lenders look at when deciding whether you qualify for their latest credit card deal.
What's In A Name?
First of all, credit card companies will search to see if your name is linked to any outstanding fraud cases. This could be bad news if you share a name with a known fraudster. Next, they'll look at your address. If that has been linked to any fraud or bad debt, it could count against you. That's why some people publicly disassociate themselves from others in their families who might not be good money managers.
Lenders also check to see of your address is on the electoral roll and whether there are any County Court Judgements (CCJs) against you. If you're clear so far, then you've passed the first hurdle.
Delving Into Your Credit Report
Next, lenders will look at the information held by the credit reference agencies. These agencies (of which Equifax and Experian are the best known) hold records on all credit transactions made from the day people first open a bank account. Credit card agencies share the information given on applications. What's even more important is that they share information about how people have paid their debts. The credit report will show whether people have paid promptly, paid late or defaulted on payments. This is a key factor for lenders in deciding whether people should be granted additional credit.
Can You Pay?
This payment information will help lenders decide whether people are likely to be able to pay them back if they extend credit. They will look at how much people have already borrowed, whether they have paid it back on time and whether they have missed payments. They will also look at the number of credit applications made and assess whether people can afford to take out more credit. All of this information will contribute to the overall credit score. Lenders will use this to decide whether to approve a credit card application, and what interest rate and credit limit to set. After a certain period, provided the payments have been made properly, this credit limit will be increased.
How To Get A Better Credit Score
Apart from managing credit card and debt repayments properly, there are other factors that affect people's credit score. These include:
– Their age – older people score more highly
– Their marital status – married people are seen as better risks than single ones
– Whether they own or rent their homes. Owning a home is good for the credit score, while living with parents will not help much.
– Being on the electoral roll
– Avoiding CCJs, bankruptcies and voluntary arrangements. All of these signal that people are unable to mange their debt
– Making sure they have no financial links with someone who is a bad money manager.