How to apply for a credit card when you’re self-employed
If you're your own boss, a credit card can help you deal with those months when you have expenses to pay but not much money coming in.
Being self-employed requires a series of impressive skills – one of which is a very solid ability to manage and organise your finances, right down to the last penny.
When it comes to business expenses, there’s clearly an advantage to using a dedicated card on a dedicated account – which will make your accounting much easier than if you were to mix your personal and business expenses. And opting for a credit card can boost your spending power and potentially even earn you some rewards along the way. But you may have some legitimate doubts over which one to get, the application process and your chances of being accepted. Let’s see how to approach this task.
Can I apply for a credit card if I’m self-employed?
First of all, lets make it clear that being self-employed in itself won’t necessarily impact your chances of being approved for a credit card. If you’ve been in business for a while, have a regular cashflow and a good credit score, you’ll probably be eligible to apply for most credit cards on the market.
However, working for yourself normally means irregular earnings and a lack of stability – two things lenders usually aren’t big fans of. That means that your first credit card could be harder to land, especially if you’ve only being working for yourself for a short time.
The good news is, almost all card issuers now offer an eligibility checker, so you can find out your chances of getting approved for a card before you apply (and without hurting your credit score). You may find that you stand a good chance of getting approved for the card(s) that you’re after, but that you’re offered a different rate to the advertised representative APR – which card issuers are only obliged to award to 51% of their customers.
You should do all you can to look after and improve your credit score and be even more careful with collecting and providing accurate information and documents to prove how much money you make (and how much you can realistically afford to borrow).