How Long Does It Take To Get Approved For A Credit Card?

by Allison Wignall on June 4 2021

Applying for your first credit card? It’s a big step in your finances. After all, credit cards open the way for bigger purchases and building credit. That said, if it’s your first card you may have some questions. One that many ask is: how long does it take to get approved for a credit card? Well, the amount of time it takes to get approved for a credit card depends on a few factors.

Let’s break them down here.

3 Main Factors That Affect How Long It’ll Take To Get Approved For A Credit Card

#1. How you submit your application is one factor. Online applications get processed much faster as compared to applications sent by snail mail. With an online application, you’ll know if you’re approved within about a day. Approval of a mail application could take as much as 2 to 3 weeks. This is because of the time it takes for the card issuer to receive your application and for you to receive the reply.

#2. Your financials are the second determining factor. If you have good credit, a highly paying job and steady income, you could get approved right away. That’s if you’ve submitted an online application. Traditional mail could still take a few days.

#3. Whether or not you’ve submitted all the necessary information and documentation asked for is the third factor. It’s surprising how many applicants inevitably forget to fill out some small detail or forget to attach a necessary document. If your application is incomplete or incorrect, your application will be put on hold till you submit the correct information.

What To Do If You Don’t Hear Back From The Credit Card Company

If you don’t hear back from the credit card company after 2 weeks of submitting your application, call them. There could be several reasons why you haven’t heard back from them. It could be that they didn’t receive your application at all or maybe you didn’t receive their response. The best way to get an update on your application status is to call and ask.

Will You Receive The Credit Card Instantly On Approval?

No, you won’t. Getting approved and actually getting your credit card are two completely different things. Getting approved could take anywhere from one day to three weeks or more. Your customized credit card is created only after you are approved. After the customized credit card is ready, it will be couriered or mailed to you. It can take about 7 to 10 business days for you to receive it along with instructions on how to activate it.

You’ve Received Your Credit Card – Now What?

Having a credit card can be exciting. It makes life so much easier for you and is a powerful stepping stone to building credit. But only if it is used wisely.

The first thing to do after you get your credit card is to read the terms and conditions. Understand your credit limit, payment due dates, and assorted rewards.

The second most important thing is to set up some way to ensure that all payments are made on time every month. Set payments to be made directly from your savings account if you tend to forget. This will minimize the risk of missed payments and hefty fines.

Last but not least, don’t go on spending spree with your new credit card. You may not have to pay for your purchases on the spot, but that payment will have to be made by the deadline. Instead of frivolous purchases, it’s advisable to use your credit card to build a strong financial foundation.

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