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Applying For A Credit Card


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This page will present the general case and some of the known exceptions to the general case regarding what happens when you apply for a personal or small business credit card.
If you are old enough, you may remember filling in a paper application, sending it in the mail, then days or weeks later receiving either your new card or a rejection letter.
Today the application and appproval may happen online in less than a minute.

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Credit Pull

The financial institution offering the charge or credit card will pull a credit report from any 1, any 2, or all 3 of the personal credit bureaus:

This will usually be what is called a hard inquiry or hard pull.
Any hard inquiry will remain on the specific credit bureau that it was pulled from for 2 years.
A hard inquiry will only impact your FICO credit scores for the 1st of those 2 years.

Crowd Sourced Credit Pull Patterns

If you research credit related websites on your own, you will eventually come across the patterns below:

The patterns above have been reported widely enough that it would be arbitrary to choose any one particular source to cite.

Credit Decision

The potential creditor will make a decision based using the following information:

Account Begins Reporting To Personal Credit Bureaus

After your card has been approved, at some point it will begin reporting to personal credit bureaus.

Form 4506-C

Form 4506-C is authorization to pull one or more year's tax transcripts from the Internal Revenue Service.
Ideally you would prefer requests such as for a 4506-C to happen before a credit decision is made.
Unfortunately for a revolving credit account such as a charge or credit card, a 4506-C request can happen before or at any point after an account has been created.
In contrast to a credit card application, for a mortgage application, a 4506-C form will almost certainly be a part of your application instead of something that is requested later.

Charge Card and Credit Card Billing Cycles

Whether:

it is important that you understand credit card billing cycles.
While the button below may be labeled Charge versus Credit, the intended message of the page it will bring up is that you should ideally treat charge cards and credit cards the same way, except when you have made an informed decision to carry a balance.