Can I apply for a credit card if I am unemployed?
Can I apply for a credit card if I am unemployed?

If economic uncertainty persists — as inflation rises and interest rates rise — consumers could experience a period of unemployment. While accumulating large amounts of high-interest debt is important during times of financial uncertainty, credit cards can provide financial assistance when looking for a job.

Unemployment does not disqualify you from credit card approval. When the issuer requires you to provide income, you can provide other forms of income in your application. You should also consider other methods of building and maintaining credit during unemployment that may be safer or easier to achieve than credit cards.

How to Qualify for a Credit Card

When you apply for a credit card, the credit card issuer determines your creditworthiness based on a number of factors on your credit report and will ask you to provide additional information in your application, such as your name, address, and income.

In order to approve your credit card, the card issuer must assess whether the loan risk meets their requirements. If you managed well in the past and kept your accounts up to date, your credit score reflects your credit worthiness. Your income helps the issuer determine your debt-to-income ratio, which predicts your ability to pay. The ratio also helps determine your credit limit if you are approved for a credit card.

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How to Qualify for a Credit Card

When you apply for a credit card, the credit card issuer determines your creditworthiness based on a number of factors on your credit report and will ask you to provide additional information in your application, such as your name, address, and income.

In order to approve your credit card, the card issuer must assess whether the loan risk meets their requirements. If you managed well in the past and kept your accounts up to date, your credit score reflects your credit worthiness. Your income helps the issuer determine your debt-to-income ratio, which predicts your ability to pay. The ratio also helps determine your credit limit if you are approved for a credit card.

What counts as income?

Your income plays a role in your loan application, but income is more than just the salary you get from your job. Income can be more loosely defined as any money you receive on a regular basis.

This means that if you are currently unemployed, you can provide other forms of income to qualify. The Credit Cards Act 2009 allows anyone over the age of 21 to list any income they can reasonably receive, including income from your spouse or partner, funds from joint accounts, and unemployment benefits. If you have investments, these returns can be credited to your income. It can also be included if you receive Social Security.

If you can’t qualify on your own, you can choose a credit card
If you don’t qualify for a credit card yourself, you still have a way to get a credit card. Here are some other ways to get a loan while you’re out of work.

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Become an authorized user

When you become an authorized user of someone else’s credit card account, you can increase your credit score while accessing someone else’s credit line. As an authorized user, you can use your credit card through the host cardholder. Before you do so, please take some time to understand how being an authorized user affects your balance.

Although you are not legally required to pay your credit card balance, you may have an agreement with your primary cardholder on how to pay. It is your responsibility to ensure that the principal cardholder is responsible for paying in full and on time. You are not required by law to pay, but missed payments can negatively impact your credit score.

Secured credit card

Secured credit cards are easier to get than unsecured credit cards because they require a deposit as your line of credit. Your credit rating and income may be less of a factor than most credit cards. Instead, your ability to guarantee the required deposit is critical. If you decide to go this route, look for a secure card with a low fee and read the terms carefully. You should also make sure to report your payment to the credit bureau so you can continue to build good credit.

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Joint account

You may also choose to apply for a joint credit card account with someone, such as B. with your spouse. In the case of a joint account, both potential cardholders apply for a credit check. However, the income is added together.

Final result

Unemployment can bring some financial insecurity, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get a credit card and continue to build your credit. If your debt-to-income ratio and payment history are solid, and you can list other forms of income, you may be eligible for a new card and use it as a line of credit to support you.

If a new card is not an option, consider becoming an authorized user or building credit with a secured credit card. As long as you avoid falling into unpayable debt, you can still enjoy the benefits of a credit card—until your next job comes along.

Learn more:

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Jake Smith

Escrito por

Jake Smith

He is the editor of Eragoncred. Previously, he was editor-in-chief of Eragoncred and a financial industry reporter. Jake has spent most of his career as a Digital Media journalist and has over 10 years of experience as a writer and editor.