Deciding to apply for a credit card is not a decision you should take lightly. Many stores try to get you to impulsively apply at the register, and you should never agree. Credit can affect your financial situation for years so you should certainly think before you act. If you want to apply for a credit card, there are a few steps you should take beforehand.
Before you apply for a credit card, you should do an evaluation of your finances. Get a free credit report and make sure everything is accurate. You will want to know what your credit score is so you will know which cards to look at when you apply. If there is anything unusual or incorrect on your credit report, deal with it immediately. Many people never look at their credit report, and therefore have no idea what may or may not be on it. It is important to clear up anything incorrect on your credit report before you applying.
After getting everything strait with your credit report, you should begin researching. Research cards that fit your credit score. Make a list of important characteristics you want in a credit card. Look for the best deals in several areas. Before you apply for a card, you should make sure you understand everything about the card and the company's policies. Look at the interest rates, rewards programs, and other characteristics.
Be wary of great introductory offers. When you apply for a credit card, many companies will offer you fantastic introductory deals. It is great to take advantage of these deals, however you should be sure that the terms won't change unexpectedly after the introductory offer time period is over. For example, you will need to know what the interest rate will be after the offer before applying.
Once you find several cards with terms that you understand and like, categorize them by your choice. Apply to one at a time. If you only need one card and apply to three, you run the chance of getting approved for all three. This will not only reflect on your credit report, but also give you the inconvenience of canceling two of them. So, be patient and wait for a response.
When you complete an application you are vowing that you will be responsible financially. Deciding to apply for a credit card means that you know you will be able to pay the balance off in a timely manner. If you are not sure of your ability to pay, you should never apply for a credit card. Be responsible, examine, and research before applying!