How to Get Approved for a Credit Card as Quickly as Possible
1. Keep Personal Payments Consistent
Before applying for a business credit card, you can prepare for a smoother approval process by being responsible with your personal finances. Particularly, if your business is new, lenders may consider your personal payment history to determine if you can be approved for business credit.
If you’re consistently on time with your personal payments, chances are you’ll be approved more quickly for a business credit card. On the other hand, if you have a history of late payments, it’ll be more difficult to get approved.
2. Secure Personal Credit History
Another step you can take to expedite credit card approval is to secure your credit history. Again, because lenders often take your personal credit history into account, especially if your business has no proven track record, ensuring you have a solid credit score will make it much easier to get approved.
Credit scores are ranked according to the FICO scoring system, in which personal credit scores can range anywhere from 300 to 850. In 2018, CNBC reported that a score in the range of 750 to 850 is considered “excellent,” while a score between 300 to 649 is considered “bad.” Staying in between 650 and 850 will put you in a better position to get approved for a business credit card.
If you’ve ever used a business credit card, it’s likely that you have a business credit score as well. Keep in mind that business credit scores are calculated differently than personal credit scores.
Instead of ranging from 300 to 850, they fall between 0 and 100. Generally, 80 is considered a good business credit score. The further you go down past 80, the more difficult it’ll be to get approved for a business credit card.
3. Make Financial Information Available
Applying for a business credit card is very similar to applying for a personal credit card. Lenders require basic information, such as your name, date of birth and home address to verify identification. However, unlike when you complete a personal application, you’ll also need to provide information about your company such as business name, location, tax ID number, gross annual sales, and net profit.
Being as transparent as possible with your financial information will speed up the process of approval. Ultimately, being completely honest when reporting business numbers will be appreciated by the credit card company you’re applying to. While it can be tempting to adjust the numbers based on expected growth, resist the temptation. Some lenders will run audits to ensure your numbers are accurate. Work with your lender, and they’ll work with you.
4. Be Accessible to Your Lender
If the goal is to acquire a credit card as soon as possible, waiting days to answer a question or avoiding lender inquiries are surefire ways to make the process last longer. As with any business endeavor, communication is key. Along with preparing your finances and remaining transparent, keep in contact with your lender to help build trust and prevent any unexpected roadblocks.
Whether your business is just starting out or well-established, it’s never too late to apply for a credit card. Just keep in mind that preparing your credit history, gathering necessary financial information, and keeping in contact with your credit issuer will help make the process quick and seamless. That way you can start taking advantage of all the benefits a credit card has to offer you and your company.
Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.