Abroad : IMMIGRATION:
to get a Credit Card
is a credit card?
A credit card is a plastic card that allows the
holder access to a line of credit from a financial
institution. Using the line of credit is like
getting a short-term, pre-approved loan from the
bank, but the interest on the loan is much higher
than a regular loan. Some cards offer perks like
frequent-flier miles, cash back, warranties or
rental car insurance with use, so in many cases
paying with a credit card can be more beneficial
than paying with cash.
is a credit card important?
Credit cards allow consumers to have access to more
money than they can safely carry around, and they
can provide an extra source of money to use for
unexpected expenses. Additionally, goods such as
airline tickets, rental cars and hotel rooms, can
only be secured with credit cards since they offer
protection for companies in case you don't pay the
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a credit history in the United States.
This is probably the
toughest and most time-consuming part of the process.
One way to do this is to request a secured credit card
from your bank. You must secure the card with your own
money, so you don not spend more than you can pay
back. Be sure to make payments faithfully on your
secured card. If you can't get a secured card, start
small: ask if your landlord can vouch for your
timeliness in paying your rent, or attempt to buy
something you needed anyway on store credit. After a
few months of staying current on your bills, your
credit should look good to credit card companies.
around for a card that best fits your purchasing
Do you plan to fly home
often? If so, you might want a card that gives you
frequent-flier miles. Do you plan to carry a balance
from month to month? If so, find a card with the
lowest interest rates. Be sure to read and understand
the fine print.
once you have found the card(s) you like.
You may apply over the
phone, by mail or online. On the application, you must
supply the following pieces of information:
This is the name that you have on your credit report.
If you put a different name, processing of your
application may be delayed.
Security Number/Tax ID:
You must provide this information, as it is a unique
identifier. Companies use this information to access
your credit report and other financial information.
This is the address to which they will send your bills
and card. The company will also ask how long you have
lived at your current address and how much you pay for
mortgage or rent. They may use this information to get
a general figure of your debt load and disposable
is your salary plus any other income you wish to be
considered when the company figures your credit limit.
Generally, the higher your reported income, the higher
your credit limit will be.
Credit card companies want to know that you have a job
and steady income.
Your signature on the application means you approve of
the contract terms, which are printed somewhere on the
application. It also signifies that the information
you have provided is true. If you applied online or
over the phone, the company will get your electronic
or verbal confirmation, and they may send a contract
in the mail for you to sign.
the card company approves your application, they will
notify you by mail.
The approval notice will list your credit limit and
any fees the company charges. If the actual card isn't
included with the approval notice, it will usually
arrive within a few weeks. If the card company rejects
your application, you are entitled by law to find out
why. Call the toll-free (800) or (888) number on the
card company's mailing and request an explanation