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Apply Online For A Credit Card

Jan 17, 2008
Before making the decision to get a credit card online, there are a few factors that you may want to take into consideration. Firstly, it is worth researching the type of credit card you want and also researching what you want it for. Credit cards are an increasingly convenient method of handling cash-flow and can be used from anything such as simple purchases to debt-management; used wisely, credit cards can be valuable tools in times when access to extra funds is required. There is also the added benefit of up to 59 days worth of borrowing, interest-free - as well as valuable rights under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act. Many credit cards also offer incentives such as free air-miles or discounts on certain purchases and services.

There are minor hurdles involved with applying for a credit card online. Many credit card companies offer different charges when you apply online, as opposed to doing it 'the traditional way', so it's worth checking the small print to ensure that you are aware of these charges, along with interest rates and transaction fees that can also differ with online applications. You may also want to check the types of card available from the companies that you are interested in applying to, as not all types of credit cards are available online.

Lenders rely on two primary sources of information when they are deciding whether you will be offered credit at all and, if so, how much. Those sources are the personal details that you supply on your application form and the data the credit reference agencies have collated on your spending habits and credit history. This information is known as your Credit Rating or Credit Score and is a figure awarded to you that allows the lenders to evaluate you as a risk assessment. It contains information such as debts, payments for utility bills, county court judgements, bankruptcies and your past and present credit commitments. These figures are compared against the credit and spending habits of millions of other consumers and a Credit Score is allocated. This number directly affects the amount of credit you may be offered, or whether you will at all. It will also affect the rate of interest that you are offered if credit is granted.

This Credit Score - which you can check before you apply for a credit card - means that the information you supply on a credit card application form has to be as accurate as possible. Inaccuracies will be uncovered through the lenders examining your Credit Report and this, again, could have an adverse affect on your potential to borrow money. Another thing you may want to consider is the length of time an application can take to process - particularly important if you are considering a balance transfer of debt from an existing card to a new one. Most credit card issuers offer an instant decision on your potential for credit and, on average, applications are processed between 10 days and 2 weeks, but there are also postal factors to be taken into account - the arrival of PIN numbers, forms and the credit card itself.

Once you have made the decision to do so and have chosen the type of credit card you want to apply for, the process itself is relatively simple, especially if you choose to 'cut out the middle man' and do it online. You can go straight to the website of your chosen card issuer and follow the prompt commands from there, which should be laid out in a simple, user-friendly format or, if you are still a little unsure, you can go to an online comparison site, review your credit card choices and there is usually a direct link from these sites to the application pages of your chosen card. From there, it's merely a case of submitting the relevant information.

If you know why you want the credit card, how you intend to use it and whether you can meet the necessary repayments once the introductory offer has expired, then you should be on your way to applying for a credit card that can become a valuable and beneficial financial tool.
About the Author
Before buying anything online, read Amy Newman's report about buy Credit Cards online. As a Personal Finance writer, she has an excellent understanding of online Credit Card application.
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