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Is there a minimum income requirement to get a credit card?

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Discover whether you earn enough to qualify for a credit card, and compare low income options.

When you apply for a credit card, your income is an important factor that the issuer will use to determine whether you qualify for a credit card. But just how much income must you earn to be approved? And what other factors might be considered? This guide will answer those questions and more. Find out if you’re likely to be approved for a credit card, and then compare your options.

Now let’s answer that question …

Is there a minimum income requirement to get a credit card?

The answer is, not exactly. Before the Recession of 2008, credit card companies would give cards to anyone, even those with no income. But that all changed when the Credit CARD Act of 2009 put new provisions in place to protect consumers. Although the Credit CARD Act does not set minimum income requirements, it does restrict credit card issuers from extending credit to someone who does not have the ability to make the required payments under the terms of the credit card account. But what exactly does that mean?

Simply put, a credit card issuer must take into account your ability to repay the debt. In order to determine someone’s eligibility, the card issuer will weigh several factors, including income. Specifically, issuers will look at your debt-to-income ratio

Adrienne Fuller

Adrienne Fuller leads the publishing team at finder.com. She has one goal: to deliver the accurate and transparent information she wishes she had when she made some of life's important financial decisions. When she's not helping folks save money, she's hiking with her two Catahoulas around her home in San Diego.

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4 Responses

  1. Default Gravatar
    HawkJanuary 24, 2018

    I retired early (age 54) and have a 6 figure amount of liquid cash that I am living on and a multi-million dollar 401k that I am not planning on drawing until I am 59 1/2. I work only part-time. I have modest interest and dividends each quarter.
    I have the highest credit score of 850 and have never paid one payment late in 35 years and pay off any balances I have each month in full. To my exasperation, I was denied a credit card. What gives? How can I find a provider that cares about net worth and liquid cash not just income? Thanks.

    • finder Customer Care
      HaroldFebruary 27, 2018Staff

      Hi Hawk,

      Thank you for your inquiry.

      Credit card providers’ terms and conditions vary. While there are banks that consider pension, interest income and dividends as valid source income there are some that don’t. Hence, it’s important to check the eligibility criteria and make sure you meet them before applying. To know which providers offer a credit card to pensioners and retirees, you may check our comparison table on this page. Kindly take note of the terms and conditions you have to meet as well as documents to provide in order to be eligible.
      Also, you may want to give it some time before applying for another credit card if that rejected application you mentioned was recent. Our guide here explains why.

      I hope this information has helped.

      Cheers,
      Harold

  2. Default Gravatar
    TaylorNovember 3, 2017

    I just recently did a application for a capitol one credit card and they emailed me saying they need proof of my annual income. My most recent W2 is from when I worked from August of 2016 to December of 2016 but I worked all the way through to August of 2017 before I got laid off. On the application I put my total annual income as $56,000 but from August to December I only made $19,000. So I’m wondering will I not get accepted for the credit card because the annual income is too low?

    • finder Customer Care
      JoanneNovember 4, 2017Staff

      Hi Taylor,

      Thanks for reaching out.

      As discussed on this page, there is no minimum income requirement for credit card applicants in the U.S., but standards have been set by the Credit CARD Act of 2009, passed in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis. Although the Credit CARD Act does not set minimum income requirements, it does restrict credit card issuers from extending credit to individuals that do not have the ability to make the required payments under the terms of the credit card account.

      Generally, credit card companies would look at an income that is at least $100 higher than the monthly expenses. In addition to that, a credit card issuer takes into consideration your ability to repay a debt.

      You may compare options found on this page, view the application requirements and once you see a credit card that is at par with your needs you may go ahead and click on more details or go to site.

      Cheers,
      Joanne

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