Credit cards come in multiple tiers with various payment plans, rewards, interest rates, and cashback options. However, it’s been a long-standing notion that as a prerequisite to acquiring a credit card you need a job.
But fear not, because this is not true and what you’re about to read shall open up all your possibilities and answer a few questions you never knew to ask to get a credit card, unemployed.
As a result of the global pandemic, millions of people have lost their jobs or can’t find jobs.
However, the costs never stopped pilling in. Did you lose your job? Are you a student fresh out of graduate school that can’t find a job? Are you simply looking for a momentary financial sense of security you can run to in these uncertain times?
Well, we all have one thing in common.
Everyone needs a little extra cash now and again that’s easily accessible to use. Therefore, it’s essential to know how to get approved for a credit card without a job and I’m going to simplify the entire process for you.
Do you already have a credit history?
What is your credit score?
Your credit score is a numerical figure that represents your credit risk as a borrower. Knowing your credit standing is one of the most important questions you need to answer to expand your credit possibilities.
The 4 credit types range from exceptional credit, very good credit, fair credit, and finally, poor credit.
Scores seem scary, however, whether you have a good or bad credit score, it isn’t the singular requirement to achieve credit card approval.
This score simply informs you about whether you should be looking into a bank or issuer that accepts either high-risk borrowers, low-risk borrowers, or both.
Credit card issuers do not only base credit card approval or denial on credit scores but it is one of the first things they look at.
The better your credit score, the less interest you will have to pay on your credit card. The worse your credit score, the more interest you will have to pay.
Subsequently, the beauty of credit scores is that you can improve or maintain them even when you are unemployed to further your chances of being approved for a credit card.
Are you new to the world of credit?
No credit history? No problem. The easiest way to acquire a credit card without credit history or a job is by being in college or university.
Issuers often like to see a combination of credit accounts such as student loans in this case.
Having a student loan would then serve as a security blanket that ensures that if you can pay off the student loan eventually, you are capable of paying off your credit card debt in the long run as well.
Student credit cards however have significantly higher interest rates and fees in comparison to those provided postgraduate.
What are the requirements you need to get a credit card with no job?
Thankfully, employment status is not a requirement to get a credit card. I’ll repeat that – having a job is not a credit card requirement!
Unemployment also doesn’t affect your credit score, granted you aren’t missing payments. That being said, your credit history is imperative when it comes to applying for a credit card.
A credit card often serves as a necessity in times of crisis and even in day-to-day life, however, the process to get one can be somewhat tedious but pretty straightforward.
Here is a list of requirements you need to fill in on your credit card application:
- Identity information – Name, National ID number, date of birth
- Proof of income – Considering that you’re unemployed this can be a side income you receive, unemployment benefits, or income within your household that you have access to (for example through your spouse or others you live with). Access means and this is important to note, that you can ONLY list the income you have access to. Such as having a joint account that you have full access to with someone in which their deposits can serve as your income. This income can also be the monetary transfers you receive from someone as long as the transfers occur regularly.
- Accommodation – Your living situation and how long you have resided at your house or apartment will be asked. This could be in the form of whether you own your residence, are renting, or live with people.
- Signature and date – pretty self-explanatory.
Due to the fact that income is one of the greatest determinants of approval, what then happens when your income does not suffice?
Quick and easy steps to get a credit card with insufficient income
Having no job or living paycheck to paycheck can render your income almost none existent. Therefore, if income is your only issue then there are a few options for credit card approval.
1. Get a co-signer.
On credit card applications there is an optional section to have co-signers. Enlisting someone you trust, that has a great credit score as your co-signer can simplify the process drastically.
This informs your card issuer that in the case of any defaults, there is a backup that can verifiably pay off your outstanding debts.
2. Applying for a secured credit card.
A secured credit card to most might not be an ideal option compared to a traditional card but it remains an option. Secured credit card requirements are a lot more lenient in regards to the income requirement.
The caveat then lies with the deposit you initially have to make which then determines your credit card limit.
Today, applying for a credit card can be done online from the comfort of your home. The advantage of online credit card applications is that you often get your response in a few minutes or days.
Is it easier to get a credit card because of the pandemic?
The global pandemic has taken the employment sector by storm and saw the greatest rise of unemployment rates since the great depression all over the world.
In the U.S alone, unemployment surged past 14% in the early months of the pandemic. <ref> U.S. Bureau Labor of Statistics </ref>
In the current economic climate, lenders have been forced by the governments to be more lenient with debt repayment deadlines.
This has seen an increase in grants for forbearance applications for deferrals for as far as up to a year on debt like mortgages.
As a result, people arguably have more money freed up and thus the coronavirus might have just assisted you to get a credit card without a job seeing as you would have the means to consistently pay it off.
Deferments for greater credit security
A deferment entails, contacting your lender for either your car payments, your student loans, and even mortgage to provide a grace period of no mandatory monthly payments.
However, it is important to note that a lump sum is then usually due at the end of the period agreed upon.
Once this has been approved, you ultimately have more money freed up. As well as an approval letter to prove to your bank that you would be able to make payments on your prospective credit card regardless of your employment status.
Final Thoughts: How to get a credit card with no job
A credit card is a great tool to have in your arsenal and not having a job does not hinder you from getting a credit card.
Understandably, unemployment can raise fears of uncertainty and doubt but there is always a lender out there ready to cater to your specific situation.
Good or bad credit, credit history or not, a credit card is an option for all.
Simply ensure that you stay informed and up to par with your credit report, credit accounts, and the wide variety of credit card options out there.
Remember that communicating directly with your prospective card issuer or bank is another way to gauge your options based on your situation.
Your future self will thank you for making great credit decisions today.