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FICO Score Can Only Take You So Far

When applying for a credit card, the most important factor in determining whether or not the application gets approved is a FICO score.

3 areas of your credit history issuers will examineBut even though a FICO score is extremely important when issuers review your application, other factors also are considered.

The next time you fill out a credit card application, here are three other areas of your credit history the issuer is sure to examine:

Income level — A lot of people think it’s OK to lie about this one a little, but credit card companies aren’t taking your word anymore about how much you make.

Issuers like Iberia and Pulaski Bank require copies of your pay stub or W-2 before they’ll even consider an application, and larger issuers like Citi and Chase follow up on the information you’ve provided.

If they see an income level of $500,000 but a credit score of 450, something usually doesn’t add up. Make sure you report an accurate depiction of your family income — and the higher, the better.

Owning checking and savings accounts — You might notice that every application asks if you own a checking and/or savings account. If you check no to both, you damage the chances of getting approved.

Card issuers need to see you have a viable payment method that allows you to make your credit card payments on time every month. Even though you might find another way to pay your bill, not owning a deposit account sends a red flag.

Income source — The best-looking income, in the eyes of credit card issuers, comes from a full-time job.

Even though income from things like retirement or odd jobs can lead to a stable financial life, it’s not the best when looking for a credit line. Just as important is the length of employment history, because working at a job for 10 years bodes better than working at a job for 10 weeks.

A solid credit history weighs heavily when looking for a line of credit, not only to win approval for a card but to determine just how large of a credit line you’ll get.

Improving your credit should be the first action before applying for a quality credit card. You should also secure a high, reliable income that gets deposited into your checking or savings account.

If you’re ready to apply for a new card, compare rates and rewards from dozens of credit cards in our database.

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