How do I know if I’m eligible for a credit card?

With online shopping, store cards, smartphone apps and credit and debit cards at our every twist and turn, it’s becoming more and more unusual to use cash when we’re making payments. Whether it’s a few additional items from the local supermarket or a major shopping spree, it is becoming a lot more common to pay by card, but with a high level of debate surrounding the issue of credit cards it can be difficult to establish whether you are a suitable candidate.

Do I need a good credit history?

Your credit history is normally the first area the card providers will look at prior to deciding whether or not you qualify for their service, so there is no denying that a good credit rating is of significant importance.

If you are considering taking out credit cards in the near future, one really important initial step would be to set up Direct Debit accounts for all your monthly payments, as late or missed payments will undoubtedly sway a lenders perception of your suitability.

What if I haven’t got a good credit history?

Even if you don’t have the best credit history, there is action you can take to make your chances of being considered for a credit card greater.

The first step for anyone in this position would be to cancel any cards which are no longer in use. These will only hinder your attempts to gain credit in the future and it is generally considered to be a useful way of keeping track of your own personal finances.

Always consider which option you apply for. By being realistic and targeting applications that are much more within your reach, you stand to waste less time. As well as wasting time, this can actually have a detrimental effect on your future, as every time you make an application, successful or otherwise, a “footprint” is left on your credit file, having a negative effect on your score.

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