What To Expect When Applying For A Credit Card - Questions and Inquiries

Jan 31, 2024 By Susan Kelly

Most credit card companies make the application process simple. Being mindful of the details that are required of you is helpful, however. You can anticipate the process and determine your approval status more rapidly. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's credit card industry report showed 140 million US credit card applications in 2020, down from 170 million in an ordinary year owing to the pandemic.

Question on The Credit Card Application

Be aware that you must provide a great deal of personal information.

Why? Card issuers often utilize data to decide whether to provide a credit card. First and foremost in credit card applications is a credit check with one of the three primary credit bureaus. Credit is being extended to you by the credit card business. They are putting their faith in you to cover all of the purchases made using the card. So, it's similar to filling out a loan application.

While each credit card company may ask for somewhat different information, in general, you will need to provide the following:

Social Security Number

Due to the sensitive nature of the information you request, we will address this first. The majority of credit cards for fair credit applicants demand it. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau says that's perfectly OK and commonplace. The card issuer uses your Social Security number to verify your credit history and confirm your identification. When you can't get a Social Security number, an ITIN will do.

When communicating with the issuer directly, it is safe to provide these numbers. You may complete the application on the issuer's website, linked to legitimate card-comparison websites.


For some, this is a difficult question to answer. Under federal law, the issuer must determine whether you can repay the loan. Lenders also look at your stated income when deciding how much credit to provide you. Whether it's from a job or some other source, they tend to be curious about the origin of that revenue.

Whether working full-time, part-time, self-employed, retired, or enrolled in school, your job status is a typically linked inquiry. For instance, you may still be authorized if your income is impacted due to factors such as retirement, unemployment, or being a non-earning spouse in a family.


You may be required to apply for a credit card when you reach 18. You will typically need to be 21 years old. Approval is contingent upon proof of independent income or a co-signer if you are under 21.

Questions Regarding Safety

You might request something along the lines of your mother's maiden name. A security word you come up with, like your beloved pet's name, may also be requested.

Contact Information

Put your full name on it. In most cases, a U.S. home postal address is also required to apply for a credit card in the United States. An address in a post office box may not be valid. Plus, you can only get specific cards in particular states.

You may also be asked to provide your phone number, email address, and occasionally even a cell phone number so that the issuer may contact you via text message. Whether you are a citizen of the United States may accompany this.

Vow to Speak the Truth

Providing correct information often requires you to tick a box. It is not advisable to lie.

Acceptance of the Conditions and Terms

The issuer may request that you accept the terms and conditions or small print. Among other things, they include information on rates and fees. Many times, you'll see a checkbox.

Users with Appropriate Authorization

Adding authorized users is a question that many issuers will inquire about on the application. That may be done immediately or later when you add authorized users.

Additional inquiries

More questions or criteria may be associated with certain card kinds. To illustrate:

  • Put a deposit down for a secured credit card. For secured credit cards that need a cash deposit, you'll need to specify how you'll pay back the initial investment, doubling your credit limit. Typically, a savings or checking account would need such details. You may need the routing number of your bank account.
  • Calling the issuer's customer support number may be necessary when more information is needed.

What Questions Won't Be Asked?

  • Certain obligations. Your debt-to-income ratio will be one factor an issuer looks at, but they won't ask you to name every loan or creditor. On the other hand, some people could inquire whether you pay rent or a mortgage, and if so, how much you pay each month.
  • Statistics about the population. Applications do not inquire about racial identity, religion, gender, or other irrelevant information that may affect their decision-making process.
  • Online resources for applying for credit cards. To apply for a credit card online using a mobile device is, unsurprisingly, rather popular.
  • The card issuer's website and a website that compares cards are two typical locations to locate online applications. (Instead of applying on the comparison site, you will be sent to the issuer's site.) Although not always the case, credit card offers are consistent across several platforms. Issuing companies may test out new promotions on their own or in partnership with other parties, such as sites that compare credit cards.

The majority of individuals have used an online credit card application before. Forms like this are commonplace when making various online purchases, such as providing a mailing address.

  • Applying for a card issued by the same bank using your existing banking app is possible.
  • By regular mail. Credit card offers via direct mail are common. If you prefer paper forms, you may mail them back, but it may take longer to get a response.
  • In person. Filling out an application is as easy as walking into any number of banks or credit unions. Again, credit card offers are often the same whether you apply online or at a bank office. However, issuers may sometimes provide better (or worse) deals in person.
  • By phone. Even though it could be difficult to answer all of the questions on an application vocally, the card issuer you're considering may allow phone applications.
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