Applying for a credit card is fairly straightforward. Every credit card issuer has an application form with a list of credit card application questions. You’ll need to fill out the required details on the application form and submit it for approval. The credit card issuer will review your application and either approve or reject it based on the information provided.
So, what questions do credit card companies ask? The exact questions will vary among lenders or at least they may be worded differently. In general, credit card application questions are designed to obtain your personal and financial details.
Not sure how to answer credit card application questions? The most important tip is to answer all questions honestly. Don’t try to boost your chances of approval by providing inaccurate details. Inaccurate information can cost you a lot down the line.
These are some of the more common credit card application questions and how to answer them.
8 Common Questions Credit Card Companies Always Ask
1. What is your date of birth?
This is usually the very first question on any credit card application question and for good reason. It seeks to determine if you qualify to apply.
In most states, you need to be 21 years old to be eligible for a credit card. In some states, the minimum age to own a credit card is 18 years. If you’re above 21 years of age (18 in some states), you can go on to answer the other credit card application questions. If you’re not of the legal age to apply, you’ll need to apply with a co-signer.
2. What is your Social Security number?
This credit card application question seeks to verify your identity. Your Social Security number holds all of your personal information. Before extending you any credit, the card issuer wants to ensure that you are who you say you are. Identity theft is becoming increasingly more common and credit card issuers want to eliminate that risk. If you don’t have a Social Security number, you can submit your ITIN or individual taxpayer identification number instead.
To protect yourself from identity theft, do not give this information to card-comparison websites. Only provide your Social Security number if you’re filling out the application directly on the credit card company’s website.
3. What is your source of income? What is your annual income?
This is one of the most important credit card application questions. Your answer to this question will have the biggest impact on the issuer’s final decision.
Getting a credit card is a financial transaction based on trust. If your application is approved, the credit card company will be giving you a line of credit. Before they do this, they will want to take steps to protect their money. Knowing your source of income as well as your annual income is one way to do this.
Credit card companies want to know if you have a steady source of income, which ensures you’ll pay your card bills. Knowing your annual income allows the credit card company to assess whether or not you can afford your credit card bills.
When mentioning your income, you must include your income from your current employment as well as income that you may receive from various sources. This could be from a small business you own online, freelancing gigs, or similar side hustles. Keeping your total annual income number handy before completing the application will help speed up the process.
You will also need to mention your financial assets. This includes stocks, cash, mutual funds, bank deposits and balances, bonds, investments, or other similar assets. The more income and assets you can show, the better your chances of getting approved. Of course, the most important thing is that the information must be 100% accurate.
4. Who is your current employer?
In addition to asking about your income, credit card issuers will also ask about your current employer. Expect to answer questions such as:
- Your current employer’s name (if you’ve said you’re employed)
- Your employer’s information including address and/or phone number
- Length of time you’ve worked with your current employer
- Whether you’re employed by the company to work full-time or part-time
5. Do you have an existing credit card?
This may seem like an unnecessary question. Why should it matter whether or not you have an existing card? The fact is your answer to this credit card application question gives the company some important insight.
If you have an existing credit card, it tells them that you’ve passed an extensive verification process performed by another bank. The new issuer will still go through its own verification process based on the information you’ve provided. But you’re more likely to be approved if you have an existing credit card. This is especially if you’ve got a good record of on-time payments, which can be determined by your credit score.
If you don’t have an existing credit card, the approval process may be a little more rigorous. You need to convince the company that you have sufficient funds to pay for your credit card purchases and that you’re financially responsible. Expect to submit additional financial documents to support your application.
If this is the first credit card you’re applying for, having a savings account with that bank can increase your chances of approval.
6. What is your current address?
Although most communication will happen over email, you still need a home mailing address in the US to get a credit card. The issuer will need to send you the physical card and they only deliver to your current mailing address. They will not send your card to a post office box.
Along with your mailing address, you will also need to answer related questions such as:
- How long have you lived at your current address?
- Is it your own home or are you renting?
- What is your current country of residence?
- Do you have citizenship in more than one country?
- What is your email address?
In addition, they will also ask for your phone numbers. This includes your home phone number, work phone number, and mobile phone number.
7. What is your business’s legal name, structure, and address?
You need to answer this question only if you mentioned earlier that you have your own business. And if you’re applying for a business credit card. This does not apply to you if you said earlier that you were employed or if you’re applying for a personal credit card.
As a business owner applying for a business credit card, you’ll need to provide details about your legal business name, your business’ mailing address, and phone number. You’ll also need to select the business entity type – are you a single-owner LLC, sole proprietor, or multi-member LLC?
The information you submit in this section will impact some of the credit card application questions that follow. Business persons who share ownership with a partner may have to submit additional information regarding the percentage of ownership.
8. What is Your Federal Tax ID?
This question is also only relevant if you run your own business. Your federal tax ID provides the credit card company with additional information about your business’ finances. This allows them to match your credit history to your application as an additional verification step. Most issuers will also ask you to provide the EIN associated with the business as well as your Social Security number.
Every Credit Card Application Is Different
The credit card application questions vary from one company to another. Not all will ask the same questions or in the same order. The questions we’ve listed above give you a general idea of what you’ll find on a credit card questionnaire. Regardless of the exact wording or order of the questions, one thing is for sure – you’ll be required to provide a lot of personal and financial information. Be prepared to do that.
The card issuer will typically use all the information you provide to decide whether it will approve you for a credit card. The most obvious step is a credit check, usually with one of the three major credit bureaus. After all, the credit card company is extending you credit and trusting you to pay for everything you charge to the card. They will take time to cover their bases and ensure that you will pay your dues on time without any delays.
A word of caution, don’t jump into accepting a credit card after you get approved. Before accepting a line of credit, always read over the details. Take time to understand the fees, benefits, interest rates, credit limits, and other costs or restrictions associated with the card. This will help you make the most of your credit card while minimizing the costs.
Credit Card Application Questions To Ask Yourself
Of course, before you select a card, there are some questions you ought to ask yourself first. Here are a few key questions to consider:
- Have I looked at multiple cards from different lenders?
- Will I be able to make the monthly payments on time?
- Is the interest rate acceptable or does it seem too high?
- Is the credit limit adequate for your lifestyle?
- What rewards or perks do I qualify for?
- Will I use the rewards or perks that the credit card offers?
- What are the annual fees?
- How do the annual fees compare to that of other credit cards?
- Am I happy with the company’s customer service?
Picking a credit card is a major decision and one that shouldn’t be made lightly. Hopefully these questions—both on a credit card questionnaire and the ones you ask yourself—will help you be more prepared.
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