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Can you get a Credit Card if you work part time?

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For many parents, working part time offers you the chance to have a job alongside your other commitments. However, when it comes to applying for credit cards this doesn’t always work in your favour.

The financial downturn has meant that more people are working part time. This has resulted in lenders relaxing their criteria, especially regarding minimum income levels. The average for credit cards is now just over £9,000 a year and some cards will accept employees on as little as £6,000 – £8,000.

What’s your credit history like?

Your credit score and previous financial history can count more than your income when applying for credit cards. Before you apply it’s worth checking your credit report to ensure everything is up to date and there are no mistakes. For the best chance of being accepted you should make sure that your most recent payments are made on time and in full. This could help to make you a more favourable borrower if you’ve had some payment problems in the past.

Don’t keep applying if you have been rejected

If you’ve previously been rejected for credit cards, it’s important not to apply for others in quick succession. Lenders will see a number of applications and rejections close together as a sign that you’re desperate for the money and you’ll be unlikely to be accepted. It’s best to spread them out to give your credit score time to recover. Spend some time finding out what could be the problem with your credit score, check your credit file to make sure there isn’t anything on there that you are not aware of.

can you get a credit card if you work part time?

Pre-application check

With some cards you can now go through a pre-application check. This measures you against the criteria and assesses if you’re likely to be accepted. Unlike a full application it won’t affect your credit score if you’re not approved.

What do you need the credit card for?

Some credit cards are better for balance transfers, whilst others reward regular users. If you only work part time your options might not be as varied, so you should decide what the most important feature you require is. Consider how you’re going to use the card: is it for one large purchase, to transfer existing debts or for an emergency. This will help you target your application and limit the number of credit searches carried out.

Can you afford to have a credit card?

You also need to decide if you can afford a credit card. Work out your budget beforehand and see how much you have available each month to pay off the balance. If you don’t pay off what you’ve spent at the end of the month, you’ll incur interest charges and the debt could end up getting out of control.

If you’re accepted

There are a range of cards that will accept people on low incomes, but you’re unlikely to receive the best deals: cards with 0% interest and those with good rewards and cashback. If you are approved for a credit card you’ll probably start on a much higher APR than those advertised. However, as you use the card sensibly this rate may be reduced or you could be accepted by a more beneficial card.

Build up your credit rating

You’ll also receive a lower credit limit to start. Lenders use this to assess how responsible you are and will reward better customers with an increase in their limit. The best way to achieve this is to use the card regularly, but pay off the balance each month.

However much you earn, credit cards can be an effective way of paying for goods and managing your budget. If you’re on a low income, though, it’s important to consider the financial implications of applying to make sure you don’t get burdened by debt.

 

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About Catherine Stern

About Catherine Stern

Catherine Stern is a freelance writer with a background in marketing and PR. She currently writes web content on a range of subjects, from finance and business to travel and home improvements. As a working single mum of two young boys she understands the pressures that today’s working parents face and the topics they want to read about.

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