Choosing a credit card can be overwhelming in today’s market. However, the process doesn’t have to be hard when you have the right tools and resources to get matched with cards that are right for your credit score and financial needs. Financial search engines like Fiona take the guesswork out of searching by providing a helpful side-by-side comparison of offers available to borrowers in your area and with your credit score.
We’re going to review the step by step process of applying for a card so that once you’re matched with the right card for you, there are no surprises.
When you search with Fiona, it will only do a soft pull of your credit—so you can find the right credit card for you, without harming your credit.
Step 1: Review Your Credit Report
You have to know your credit score before you begin the process. However, you should do more than check your score—you should read your credit report in full to make sure there are no errors. Mistakes appear on credit reports in the form of accounts with an open/closed status that are incorrect and debts that you may have already paid off still appearing.
It’s your personal responsibility to ensure your credit report is accurate and reflects your correct score. A higher score can give you access to lower interest rates and better credit card offers.
Step 2: Find the Right Card for your Needs
When it comes to looking for a credit card, you might feel like you’re drowning in offers. However, before you apply, you want to make sure the card is right for you, and you generally want to have a pretty good idea of whether or not you’ll be approved. If there’s a large chance your credit score is too low for a certain card, then applying and getting rejected will leave a hard pull on your credit report.
Step 3: Select A Card
This takes us back to that financial future you were asked to picture earlier. Different cards come with different associated features. Do you want to use the card for travel purchases or entertainment? Then rewards, points and cash back are features that will help make your intended purchases more affordable.
Maybe you’re trying to consolidate debt. If so, you want to search for cards with $0 balance transfers or low interest rates.
Step 4: Apply For The Card
When you’ve chosen the credit card offer that’s right for you, you’ll communicate directly with the credit card provider to complete the process. When possible, Fiona makes this transition easier by filling out the lender’s application with any information you’ve already entered.
Step 5: Use Your Card Wisely
Responsible use of your new credit line means making on-time payments and paying off the balance in full each month. You benefit when you show lenders your ability to responsibly use your card. Benefits can include: increased credit line, lower interest rates and maintaining or raising your credit score.
Step 6: Go Apply
You’ve now reviewed the 4 key steps to applying for a credit card. It’s easy to get stressed out by money, but it’s even easier to use Fiona to get personalized credit card offers. Before you take any steps, you should define your financial plans so you can start your search with those intentions in mind and apply for a card that will help you achieve your goals.