Credit cards could be incredibly beneficial since they make it possible to purchase items without always paying cash upfront. Those who never had a credit card before might be unaware of an additional benefit: these cards help people build a credit history. Another thing a prospective credit card applicant may not know is whether they are eligible for one.
Baseline Qualifications for Credit Cards
Credit history, income, and other factors determine whether a credit card company will approve an application. And then, there are statutory requirements. Some may ask, “How old do you have to be to get a credit card approved?”
18 remains the minimum age to procure a credit card. Anyone under age 18 is a minor and may not be legally able to sign a contract. Even those 18 and older might run into trouble. As SoFi notes, “If you’re between the ages of 18 and 20, you may encounter stricter verification requirements,”
Questions about Credit Card Eligibility
When it comes to credit card eligibility, each situation is different. One first-time credit card applicant may receive a notice denying approval due to a lack of credit history, while another first-time applicant might receive approval.
Different financial backgrounds and different credit card companies may deliver varied results. The same could be true when someone with a lengthy credit history applies for a card. However, solutions could exist.
Lack of Credit History and Secured Cards
When someone’s background lacks any credit history, the person could apply for a secured card. A secured card requires a refundable deposit. This way, if the cardholder defaults, the credit card company keeps the deposit.
After a certain amount of time, accounts in good standing receive the guarantee back. During that period, those with no credit history or poor credit history build a track record of timely payments.
Cleaning Up a Credit Report
Those denied a credit card due to poor credit may wish to fix their score. Anyone who defaulted on past payments might wish to settle those obligations and attempt to have the negative marks removed.
Ordering a copy of a credit report could reveal all the problems dragging the score down. Sometimes, the report could reveal inaccuracies that require fixing. Removing false information might lead to a score increase.
Make Prompt Payments
Late and missing payments hurt credit scores and affect credit card application eligibility. After all, credit card companies want timely payments, and someone with a track record for missing payments comes with red flags. Making timely payments from the present point forward could slowly improve things.
Paying Down Debt
Besides credit and payment histories, credit card scores examine debt-to-credit ratios. These ratios reveal how much someone borrowed in relation to the remaining credit. High balances and little available debt suggests someone cannot control their financial situation. Paying down debt could raise a credit score and remove concerns that credit card companies may feel.
Several factors impact credit card eligibility, with the applicant’s credit history being a top concern of issuers. Other factors, such as credit score ratings, also play a role in determining eligibility.