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How to apply for a credit card

It is not too tricky to apply for a credit card. However, it is definitely worth being patient, making sure that the offer is right for your particular circumstances, and planning ahead if you are looking for a balance transfer.

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Once you have chosen an offer that you like the look of, and applied for a card,the lender will decide whether or not to grant you creditbased upon the information that they have at their disposal from two main sources:

1. The information that you have supplied on your application.

2. The information held on you by the credit reference agencies.

The second point means that you can't get away with exaggerating or falsifying anything, as inaccurate information about other cards or outstanding loans will show up on your credit report and you will get caught out!

And even if you get away with it - it could lead you into debt problems that can quickly get out of hand.

Once you've completed the forms:

Credit card applications can take a while to process. If you are trying to time a balance transfer from one card to another, for example when an introductory period for an interest-free card is about to expire, then you need to be particularly careful with your timing.

The credit card companies, in general, aim to process their applications and have everything sorted in 10 to 14 days but it is worth remembering that this involves the signing of forms, the separate arrival of your card and Personal Identification Number (PIN), and the activation of the card. There is plenty of scope for delay.

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