Is there a minimum income requirement to get a credit card? | finder.com
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Is there a minimum income requirement to get a credit card?

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 your combined monthly debt payments in comparison to your monthly income. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau recommends keeping your ratio to 43%. Issuers will look at this figure when determining how much you can afford to pay and will then set your credit card limit accordingly. This includes being able to make payments on a fully maxed-out credit card. Other important factors include your credit score and your credit history.

Credit card eligibility requirements help issuers reduce the risk of lending and allow them to offer you products that are appropriate for your financial circumstances. In turn, you can use these requirements to help you choose and apply for credit cards that suit your individual needs.

primor® Secured Mastercard® Gold Card

Primor® Secured Mastercard Gold Card

Fast, easy application process. No processing or application fees!

  • Minimum income: At least $100 higher than your monthly expenses
  • Low fixed interest rates with no penalty rate!
  • Reports to all three nationwide credit bureaus
  • Fast, easy application process
  • No processing or application fees!

    Compare credit cards with low minimum income

    Rates last updated February 23rd, 2018
    Name Product Product Description APR for Purchases ( Purchase Rate ) Annual fee Minimum Income
    primor® Secured Mastercard® Classic Card
    Have little or poor credit? The primor® Secured Mastercard® Classic has no minimum credit score requirements and no processing or application fees to worry about.
    13.99% variable
    $39
    At least $100 higher than your monthly expenses
    primor® Secured Mastercard® Gold Card
    Low fixed interest rates with no penalty rate.
    9.99% variable
    $49
    at least $100 higher than your monthly expenses
    primor® Secured Visa Gold Card
    Fast, easy application process. No processing or application fees!
    9.99% variable
    $49
    At least $100 higher than your monthly expenses
    primor® Secured Visa Classic Card
    Credit lines available from $200 to $5,000! You decide where you want to start and open your Personal Savings Deposit Account to secure your line.
    13.99% variable
    $39
    At least $100 higher than your monthly expenses

    Compare up to 4 providers

    Why do eligibility requirements vary?

    This relationship between income and credit cards can influence a wide range of credit card features, from the credit limit and interest rate of the card right through to complimentary extras or rewards programs. In general, cards with high eligibility requirements will have more features than low eligibility requirements credit cards, but there are still many different credit cards you can choose from if you don’t earn a lot of money.

    Other factors that affect your credit card application

    Credit card issuers weigh a range of other factors before approving or denying your request for credit, including:

    • Credit score. The better your credit score, the more likely you will be approved. Credit issuers pull your report from one of the three main credit-reporting agencies: Experian, Equifax or TransUnion.
    • Credit history. Issuers like to see that you have a history of good credit.
    • Utilization. This is the balance that you’re currently using on one single credit card compared to that card’s credit limit. A general rule of thumb is to keep your credit card debt to 30% or less of your spending limit.
    • Employment status. While credit card issuers typically prefer people to have full-time employment, you could still be eligible for some cards if you work part-time, are self-employed or if you have a pension or other source of steady income.
    • Income vs expenses. When you apply for a credit card, you will have to provide information about your current income, spending habits and any existing debts to help issuers determine whether you can manage more credit.

    Credit card income requirements help issuers assess the risk of lending and give you an idea of what cards are available to you based on your financial situation. Now that you have a better understanding of minimum income requirements, you can compare and apply for a card that fits your circumstances and needs.

    Adrienne Fuller

    Adrienne is a Publisher at finder and 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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    2 Responses

    1. 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?

      • Staff
        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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