Credit cards can be a useful financial tool, whether you’re looking to improve your credit score or need to spread the cost of a purchase over several months. However, it must be noted that credit cards are not suitable for long-term borrowing.
Here’s some information you need to know about applying for credit cards and how to improve your chances of being accepted.
How to apply for a credit card?
Before applying for a credit card, it is useful to check your credit score. This will give you an indication to the type of card you will be eligible to apply for – the higher your score, the more likely you are for being accepted for credit.
Lenders will carry out a search of your credit history as part of your application, and this is logged on your credit file. This type of search is known as a ‘hard search’ and too many of these searches in a short space of time can further damage your credit score. That’s why you should find out your credit score before you apply, and only apply for a credit card that is suited to your circumstances.
To check your credit score, you can apply to one of the UK’s three main credit reference agencies – Equifax, Experian and TransUnion (formerly CallCredit) – or use a credit checking service such as Noddle or ClearScore.
Alternatively, you can carry out an eligibility check with your lender. The Vanquis eligibility checker is a useful tool that will let you know the likelihood of your application being accepted without leaving any trace of a credit search on your credit file.
What type of credit cards can I apply for?
Finding a credit card which suits your circumstances can be tricky, but there are plenty available which you can apply for.
If, for instance, you’ve debt built up on another credit card, you may want to apply for a 0% balance transfer card. These cards allow you to transfer the balance from your old card to the new one and pay no interest on repayments for a set amount of time.
0% balance transfer and purchase cards are usually only available to those with an excellent credit score, so if you have a low credit score, or little to no credit history, you should consider the following types of credit card instead:
First credit cards
If you’ve never had a form of credit, lenders may find it difficult to accurately assess how you handle your money and whether you can borrow responsibly. This is because you’ll have little or no credit history for them to base their decision.
In this instance, you may benefit from applying for a credit card from a lender that specialises in credit builder credit cards or credit cards for first time borrowers. Credit limits on these cards will be set relatively low, so lenders can assess how well you manage your money before committing to further lending.
Credit cards for bad credit
If you’ve had credit in the past but have regularly missed payments or have gone over your agreed limits for instance, it’s likely your credit score will have been affected.
In this instance, you should look to apply for a credit card with bad credit. These cards are designed for people looking to rebuild their credit score and credit limits are set accordingly, allowing lenders to assess how well you manage your money.
Do I need a credit history?
In order to be eligible for the best credit cards and loans, you need to build up a good credit history to show lenders that you are a responsible borrower and can manage your money well.
If you’ve never taken on any form of credit, a credit builder credit card can help build a positive credit history, provided you use it wisely and make all the necessary repayments on time.
Can I be accepted?
Your acceptance for credit depends upon a number of factors, including your income and credit history. Each lender creates their own credit scores, separate to bureaus scores. Lenders will assign you a credit score based on what they think you can afford to repay, and how well they think you will manage your credit.
A lender will either offer you credit or reject your application, based on the credit score they have given you looking at your overall profile.
This score will also determine the terms of what you can borrow, from credit limits to interest rates, and different lenders have their own ways of scoring, so just because you’ve been rejected by one lender it doesn’t mean that you won’t be accepted by someone else.
Vanquis credit card application – What information do I need?
Before you apply for a Vanquis credit card, you should first go to our eligibility checker, to find out what your chance of approval is.
To run an eligibility check, we’ll need to know your name, address and date of birth, along with your residential status and the number of years you’ve lived at your current address and a contact telephone number and email address.
Finally, we need to know your employment status, your monthly income (after tax) and your monthly outgoings, including mortgage or rent, alongside the cost of any bills, travel, food, clothes and childcare, and the number of dependents you have.
If you’re accepted, you’ll then need to fill out a full application and provide proof of address and income. This part of the application will also include a full credit check.
Can I apply online for a credit card?
Yes. All Vanquis credit cards have an online application process, with a quick follow up call within 15 minutes of your application being processed, just to confirm your details and to answer any additional questions.
Once this has been completed, we’ll only get in touch via phone or post if there is a problem with your application.
What are the next steps?
Once you complete your eligibility check, we’ll give you a response within 60 seconds.
If you’re accepted you then need to give us a few more details, and we’ll be in touch with a follow-up call within 15 minutes to firm up the details and answer any questions you may have.
You then just need to wait for your welcome pack to arrive, which will include all the terms and conditions alongside when you can expect your card and PIN to arrive and the next steps.
If your eligibility check comes back negative, this could be because you already have a credit card with us or have recently closed an account with us. The application will end there, and we suggest you don’t apply for credit again for at least six months in order to protect your credit record.
Apply online here
To apply for a credit card online with Vanquis, go to https://www.vanquis.co.uk/enquiry, fill out our online credit card application and we’ll give you a decision on whether you are eligible to apply within 60 seconds.