As commonplace as using a credit card is in Canada, the financial institutions that offer them have several requirements in order to accept your application. So, you may be wondering how easy it is to get approved. Let’s dive deeper into whether the process of getting a credit card is simple, along with how to get a credit card.
Is getting a credit card easy?
Overall, getting a credit card is typically straightforward. For many customers, all it takes to get approved is filling out an application and waiting a few minutes after hitting submit. It also helps to be a great candidate by having qualities such as an established credit history, steady income, and low debt.
What you’ll need to apply for a credit card
When filling out a credit card application, you may need to provide the following details:
- Your personal information: Name, birth date, address, and contact information.
- Gross annual income: How much money you earn before taxes.
- Residency: Whether you’re a resident of Canada (or if you’re in the process of becoming one).
- Social Insurance Number (optional): Though it’s not legally required, some applications may ask you to provide your SIN voluntarily.
How to get your first credit card
If you’ve never applied for a credit card and are thinking about getting one, then here are the steps you can take:
1) Browse the available options
First, you should figure out which specific credit card to apply for. If you’ve never had one, you may not qualify for the top credit cards that offer generous rewards programs and other perks. Luckily, there are still plenty of good options to choose from. Consider researching a category called student credit cards. These cards are specifically targeted to young adults and applicants with little or no credit history, and they typically come with relaxed income requirements. Make a short list of the cards that stand out to you.
2) Narrow down your choices
Among the credit cards that made it to your list, what qualities stand out to you? Are you looking for one with no annual fee, a low APR (annual percentage rate), or opportunities to earn rewards? Pick a card that will give you the most value based on how you plan to use it.
3) Apply for your card
Once you’ve chosen the right card, go directly to the credit card issuer’s official website and begin filling out the application. Have the information mentioned above available to expedite the process. If you’re not approved for your credit card right away, it may take more time for the financial institution to manually review the application.
4) Activate your card
Once you’ve gotten approved and your new credit card arrives, the next step is to activate it. This is also a painless process that generally involves calling a phone number or visiting a website and entering a code. Once you’ve provided this verification, you can start making purchases.
5) Use your new credit card responsibly
Right from day one, it’s a good idea to be smart about managing your credit card. Some of the best moves you can make include:
- Enabling emergency alerts
- Keeping your spending to a minimum
- Putting your bill on autopay
- Paying your balance off in full
While having a credit card makes buying the things you need more convenient, the bigger picture is your credit score. Having a great credit score is how you’ll qualify for large purchases like a home or new car, as well as other credit cards. Be mindful of how using your new credit card can help to build your score.
The bottom line
Getting a credit card is an easy process that generally takes a few minutes. Typically, all that’s required is basic information like your address, income, and residency status. New applicants should research their available options, narrow them down to the one that’s the best fit for them, and then use their new credit card responsibly.
Name: Carolina d’Arbelles-Valle
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