Can The Unemployed Get A Credit Card ?

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Anything is possible in this day and age, and if you are unemployed there are certainly options for you as far as getting a credit card. The real question is, if you are unemployed, should you be getting a credit card? It might not be the opportune time, but in all actuality for some vital functions you really do need one. The trick is to find the right kind of card and to manage its use responsibly.

How To Get Started
In order to begin, you’re going to have to do a little research starting with a credit card comparison for the best credit card offers. What you’re looking for is a low interest rate, which can be a bit of a challenge if you aren’t currently working. Another option is to choose a secured credit card, in which you deposit a certain amount of money on which you can draw through the card. This might be a great choice if you have been unemployed for a long period of time, rebuilding credit or just starting out on your credit journey.

What The Credit Card Companies Look For

The credit card companies do consider your job status, but it is not the only factor. They also look at your credit report and your ability to repay the loan. If you are able to show you can make regular payments, you have a much better chance of getting a credit card. If not, it is likely your application for credit will be declined.

You’ve Done The Homework
So, you’ve completed your credit card comparison and have a few choices. Keep in mind every time you fill out a credit card application, it “pings” your credit report and too many of them could negatively affect your credit score – so choose carefully. Be totally honest in the information you provide to the lender. If they discover inaccurate information, it is grounds to cancel the account. If you are not employed, don’t represent you are.

Manage Your Credit Card Responsibly
Once you receive your credit card, it is your opportunity to build credit and improve your credit score. It is imperative you make payments on time. Not only does this save you from paying late fees, it shows the credit card companies you are a good risk and will open the door to other credit opportunities.

Being unemployed doesn’t mean you can’t get a credit card, but it does mean you may have more obstacles to overcome. However, if you’re unemployed you need to seriously consider not whether or not you can get a credit card, but whether or not you should get one.

This post was brought to you by MBNA UK. I got my first credit card with MBNA 15 years ago and I still carry it in my purse! I’m currently paying 0% interest on my card.

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6 Responses to Can The Unemployed Get A Credit Card ?

  1. 20 and Engaged says:

    I got a credit card offer in the mail but I’m deciding to hold off, even if it is Disney. I need to make sure there’s consistent income first.

  2. I would not recommend getting a C.C. unless it is a dire emergency. ESPECIALLY when there is not a steady stream of income coming in. However, if you are in dire straights get it–but definitely watch out for those interest rates!

  3. This is a very relevant post and you make some great points. Although opening a credit card while you are unemployed may not be the best decision, it is an issue many people are grappling with. I like that you point out managing your credit card responsibly. You would think that would go without saying, but I know many otherwise intelligent people who are heaps in credit card debt. A credit card can be a great opportunity to improve your financial standing, earn rewards and more – but only if you’re smart about it. Good post!

  4. Mrs. H says:

    Please tell us more about how you managed to pay 0% interest on your 15 year old card. Did you do a balance transfer?

  5. Min Jee says:

    Hi, I’m a high school student in Singapore American School studying personal finance! About a few weeks ago in class, I have learned about managing credit cards well, and the number 1 rule of finance is: don’t let a credit card company make interest off you. Your points in this post are really relevant, but I just wanna add a little bit of information on one of your paragraph.
    “The credit card companies do consider your job status, but it is not the only factor. They also look at your credit report and your ability to repay the loan. If you are able to show you can make regular payments, you have a much better chance of getting a credit card. If not, it is likely your application for credit will be declined.”
    Yes, I do agree that credit card companies consider our ability to repay the loan. But for me, I think that while credit card companies looks at our ability to pay off our loans, they also kinda makes sure that we won’t be able to pay off on the due date. Why? Obviously it’s because they want to make money of us. Credit card is like ‘free’ money, but there are of course terms of conditions: to repay our loans before we die. Well, I guess the responsibility would be passed on to our future generations, which isn’t a good thing.
    On the other hand, credit cards can also be beneficial for us, like what you said. Sometimes, people can earn mileage, or free tour around the world just by using credit cards.
    I think your blog post is essential for everyone to read, so that they can actually learn and understand the importance of being able to pay back our loans on time, and also possible gains we can get from the credit card, as I know several people around me who still are on the process of paying back their debts 10 or more years ago.

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