It is a good idea to have one or two credit cards you can readily access if you have an emergency that falls outside of your budget or savings. Even if you haven’t thought about applying for credit cards, chances are you get plenty of pre-approved credit card applications in the mail on a regular basis. This is a form of advertising used to encourage people to apply for a credit card.
Even though they say pre-approved you will still need to fill out the application. The majority of these marketing mails come from a list that tells them you have recently purchased something and so they are trying to get you to sign up for their credit card. They hope you will use it to make future purchases so they can charge you interest when you do.
Most businesses offer you the opportunity to complete the application process online or you can mail back the offer you received from them. You need to make sure you read all of the information on the credit card application carefully. This means all the small print too that pertains to your finances charges, late fees, interest rates, and other important issues that come with the responsibility of having a credit card. Your signature on the credit card application states that you have read them and you agree to them. Don’t commit yourself to something you don’t understand or it could have a very negative impact on your finances.
Make sure you fill out the credit card application correctly and completely. Be honest about your income and your expenses. Make sure you have your social security number and date of birth correct on the form. This information is required in order to establish your identity and to verify you are financially able to meet the obligations with a credit card. You can expect the process of verifying your information to take time as the United States Patriotic Act requires credit card companies to be very thorough.
In addition, most credit card companies receive thousands of new credit card applications each day. They try to process them in the order they are received. If you don’t complete the application it may be denied due to insufficient information. At the very least it will delay processing while they send you a letter asking for further information to complete the application process.
Being responsible with your credit cards is vital so don’t just fill out every form that comes your way. Be very particular with the interest rates and the credit limit you have. Even if you don’t use the credit cards, it can prevent you from getting other credit such as a home or a car. This is because they may be looking at the potential amount of money you have access to with your credit cards.
It is important for people of all ages to be educated about how to responsibly use credit cards. Even very young high school and college students are getting these offers and then accessing credit. As a result many of them are ruining their credit history before they even had a chance to really establish it. This will haunt them for years to come so make sure they understand how credit cards really work.
If you decide not to respond to such credit card applications that come your way, make sure you shred them. You don’t want to become a victim of identity theft due to someone else accessing what you have tossed out.
Word count: 585