How Long Does It Take to Get Approved for a Credit Card?
Credit cards are a virtual necessity of contemporary life. Without them, it’s difficult to rent a car, purchase an airline ticket or shop online. Yes, you can use a debit card for these purposes, but not if you don’t have enough money in your bank account to pay for the transaction. Credit cards may also provide enticing reward benefits.
The Credit Card Approval Process
How long does it take to get a credit card? That depends on various factors. If your credit is good, you can apply online and should know whether you are approved shortly thereafter. The entire process only takes minutes.
The process begins with filling out the application and providing your Social Security number. The lender then reviews your credit report. Along with this information, the lender evaluates other aspects of your financial life, such as your debt-to-income ratio. It is all a matter of meeting a lender’s underwriting standards. Applicants meeting these standards receive credit card approval, while those who do not meet the standards find out why via a notice in the mail. The notice will outline why the decision was made, based on your credit report and other elements.
If approved, expect to receive your credit card in the mail within 10 days. If you need it more quickly, request expedited shipping, which comes with an additional fee. Some issuers may provide instant access to your credit card number, so you can use it for online purchases before receiving the physical card.
Credit Card Application Considerations
Before applying for a credit card, take time to consider the factors most likely to help you receive approval. Some strategizing can improve the odds of achieving your goal.
First, check out the lender’s website. Most banks, credit unions and others in the credit card industry will reveal the general standards necessary for approval. That includes acceptable credit scores.
Consumers can check their credit reports for free annually from each of the major credit reporting agencies: Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. Examine your report closely to ensure it is accurate. If there are mistakes in the report, such as an outstanding bill you have paid, contact the credit reporting agency in writing and include copies of documents proving your assertion. The credit reporting agency must investigate such items within 30 days. To make it easier for you to access your credit report and identify actionable steps you can take to increase your score, the SmartCredit system is an all-in-one tool that consolidates everything for you.
If your credit score may cause possible rejection for a credit card, work on achieving your future credit score before submitting an application.
Credit Card vs. Personal Loan
When time is of the essence, you might consider seeking a personal loan rather than waiting for credit card approval. In both cases, the lender offers funds at a specific rate. A monthly payment schedule is involved. The key difference is that a personal loan is a lump sum amount with a relatively low interest rate and is repaid over a predetermined amount of time, while a credit card is a revolving type of credit. The credit card holder can access funds up to their credit limit as long as the account is in good standing.
You might want a personal loan to pay off any kind of debt. If a personal loan is unsecured, there is no collateral attached to it. A secured personal loan does have collateral attached, but that also means the interest rate is somewhat lower. Collateral may include motor vehicles, real estate and other assets. Fail to pay back the loan, and the bank may seize the collateral.
Credit scores are critical to both credit card approval and personal loans, but a lender can make a faster decision when it comes to a personal loan. It is possible that you could receive the funds within a day or so of submitting your application.
If you already have a credit card and want to make a major purchase, you might end up paying more for it than with a personal loan if you have a high-interest–rate card and keep a balance. Doing the math to determine whether a credit card or personal loan makes the best choice in your situation is critical.
Before applying for a credit card, you want to achieve your future credit score. SmartCredit can help you get the loan you want, with the lowest interest rate, monthly obligation and down payment. We provide essential tools for our customers that help you take steps toward achieving your credit and personal goals. For more information, contact SmartCredit today and find out how to control your future credit score.