Things you must know about how to apply for a credit card

Credit cards are some of the few financial instruments that have generated a stir in the economy.  These have eased monetary transactions by offering the provision of deferred payment. The credit card issuing bank or NBFC pays initially on behalf of the customers, and the latter repay later.

Moreover credit cards provide you a facility where you can purchase and pay letters, the perks linked with credit cards are numerous, certainly more in number than its counterpart, debit cards. However, credit cards have still not become mainstream.

The fear of paying a sizable amount of interest on missing the due date, hidden costs, low credit scores, etc. have acted as deterrents. The application procedure also seems cumbersome to many. “How to apply for a credit card?” is one persistent question that occupies the mind of potential credit cardholders.

Credit card application is not so much complicated, just need to understand what goes into the application process, credit card eligibility, etc, follow this enriching guide to fulfill your credit card application easily.

Select the credit card that suits your needs

To answer the question, “how to apply for a credit card?”, the initial requirement is to choose the most appropriate credit card, the one that will fulfill your maximum exigencies. Those credit cards boasting of minimal interest rates, enormous benefits in the form of cashback, reward points, and other benefits occupy the peak position in the priority list. 

One can opt for a secured credit card if their credit score is not satisfactory enough, or when one is just a newbie in this domain. A secured credit card is one that is backed by a deposit, which acts as collateral. Once the credit score improves on maintaining an excellent repayment history, the secured card can be upgraded to a non-secured or regular version.

In terms of the benefits, these can be classified into travel credit cards, one that is custom-made for frequent travellers; fuel credit cards, permitting waiver of fuel surcharges; and shopping credit cards, a must-have for the shopaholics who look for discounts, gift vouchers, reward points etc., among others. Thus, the availability of a wide range of options means that a thorough analysis is a must to lay hands on the most fitting credit card.

Fulfil the eligibility criteria

You might not be able to get hold of a credit card that caters to your needs if you don’t fulfill the credit card eligibility criteria.

Find below some of the basic benchmarks criteria that need to be satisfied:

  • Nationality: Being an Indian citizen is a definite prerequisite that has to be adhered to if one wishes to apply for a credit card in India. 
  • Age: While the age limit varies with card variants and banks, being an adult or attaining 18 years of age is a common feature among all.
  • Employment: The applicants can be salaried or self-employed.
  • Income: The minimum income to avail of a credit card relies on the bank’s policies. Moreover, premium credit cards that pave the way for luxurious rewards such as access to complimentary lounges at airports, golf courses, etc. demand a higher level of earning. 
  • Credit score: Credit information companies like CIBIL, Experian, Equifax, etc. keep a tab on the credit score. This credit score gets influenced and affected by the payment habits of the consumers. Default in settling loans, EMIs, etc. can have a drastic impact on the credit score that does not augur well for the customer. A credit score above 700 can be maintained by practicing and sustaining a healthy repayment history. A decent credit score results in fashioning a good impression on the issuer, thus augmenting the chances of securing the most rewarding credit card variant.

Once the basic eligibility criteria have been met, you have to zero in on the mode of application. Offline application is the most basic medium where one needs to manually visit the bank. However, at present, why should one take the pain of undertaking multiple rounds to the bank? Every bank presents the facility of online application.

After tallying the pros and cons of several variants, one just needs to visit the bank’s website. Then, an application form has to be filled in where some personal details have to be furnished. Some vital documents need to be uploaded as well. Here’s a non-exhaustive list of the same, as banks have differing policies.

  • ID Proof: Authenticity of the applicant has to be confirmed in the form of identity proof — anyone among PAN Card, Aadhaar Card, Passport etc. will suffice.
  • Residential evidence: An address proof in the form of a telephone bill, electricity invoice etc. has to be submitted.
  • Income proof: Salaried individuals can furnish any document among employment certificates, salary certificates etc. Self-employed people, on the other hand, are obliged to upload documents like ITR Statements, Certified Financials etc.

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