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Common Credit Card Questions Answered

If you are considering applying for a credit card in the not-so-distant future, you may have more questions than answers. It is a relatively simple and straightforward process from start to finish but with so many factors to consider ahead of time, the journey of applying for a credit card is paved with a number of highs and lows and, as a result, can be a minefield for beginners. If you have struggled to find the answer to a couple of common questions or queries, continue reading to find out everything you need to know ahead of time.

Why do I need a credit card?

If your bank has encouraged you to apply for a credit card or it appears to have become a particularly hot topic amongst your friends in recent months, you may be wondering how it can benefit you. It is entirely possible to pay for goods and services solely with cash or rely on a debit card for the majority of your adult life, but it is a good idea to opt for a credit card for, at the very least, a couple of months to provide you with much-needed peace of mind when it comes to emergency payments, luxury items, fraud protection, and credit building.

What is a good APR?

If you have done minimal research into the benefits of applying for a credit card, you may have stumbled upon the term APR at one point or another and wondered what it entailed. It may, therefore, benefit you to know that APR, or annual percentage rate, is, in the simplest of terms, the interest rate for an entire year as opposed to a monthly rate. In addition, a good APR is highly subjective and, therefore, difficult to determine but tends to remain below the current average interest rate.

How many credit cards do I need?

The number of credit cards you may need is highly dependent on your individual financial circumstances and credit history and there is no universal right answer. If you are in the process of applying for your first credit card, however, it may benefit you to stick to one and work your way up as you familiarise yourself with the process of owning a credit card over a prolonged period of time. If you are considering applying for a credit card to boost your credit score as much as you can, late or missed payments, credit inquiries, and credit utilisation are also all major factors.

How old do I need to be to apply for a credit card?

If you are a teenager or nearing young adulthood, you may have considered applying for a credit card in the near future. It can differ from country to country but the minimum age to apply for a credit card in the vast majority of countries is 18 years old. In addition, you may also be required to prove you are receiving an independent income until you are 21 years old in order to continue using your credit card. If you are under 18 years old, however, a growing number of providers now allow children to be added as an authorised user to their parents’ accounts until they reach adulthood.

What does it mean to be pre-approved for a credit card?

If you have received a pre-approved offer for a credit card, it means a credit card issuer has verified with a relevant credit bureau that you meet its independent criteria and are, therefore, a great fit for one of its products. In order to actually receive the product that you have been pre-approved for, however, you may still be required to follow standard procedure and complete the usual application process from start to finish. It is also worth noting that you may still be refused and that a pre-approved offer does not necessarily guarantee that you will, in fact, receive a credit card.

What is an instant approval credit card?

If you have already done your research and are considering applying for an instant approval credit card, it may benefit you to know that by doing so, you are likely to receive an answer to your application at the earliest convenience. If you have an excellent credit score or have owned multiple credit cards in the past, this can also boost your chances of receiving a swift response.

If you are considering applying for a credit card in the near future, there may be a number of questions you require the answer to. This includes why you may need a credit card, what a good APR is, how many credit cards you may need, how old you must be to apply for a credit card, what it means to be pre-approved for a credit card, and what an instant approval credit card is.

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About the Author

Linda Jeasie

Linda Jeasie is a writer and content editor with over a decade of experience covering consumer gadgets and mobile tech. Before going freelance, she got her start as an editor at MoneyGuide.com, a coupon and review website. These days she writes about gaming, life hacks, apps and software, and financial subjects for a variety of publications.