Do you need a job to get a credit card? The short answer is no. Employment isn’t a requirement for obtaining a credit card, but credit card issuers will take your ability to repay the debt into consideration when deciding whether or not to approve you for the card.
Income isn’t included on your credit report, so you’ll need to self-report how much you make per year. Keep in mind that, although you can technically get a credit card without a job, it’s important to be sure you can afford to make the payments on time.
Can I apply for a credit card if I’m unemployed?
You can apply for a credit card without a job, but most credit card companies will ask for proof of income or attempt to confirm your employment status. Although the credit card issuer probably won’t call your employer, they may ask for paystubs or tax returns.
How to get a credit card with no job
A job isn’t everyone’s sole source of income. As such, it’s still possible to get approved for a credit card even if you’re not working.
Consider all forms of income
If you aren’t working but you have income from other sources, you can include those sources of income as part of your credit card application. For example, maybe you receive Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits, you have a rental property that produces an income or you run your own small business from home.
You can report any of these money-making matters as sources of your household income. Some additional forms of household income that credit card issuers often consider are spousal income, retirement income, child support or alimony and inheritance from a trust fund.
Become an authorized user
An authorized user is a person who is added to an account on part of the cardholder. When you become an authorized user, you will basically join another person’s pre-existing credit card account.
The issuer will typically send you your own card that you will get to use, but you will not be legally obligated to make payments. If the account holder maxes out their card or keeps the utilization ratio too high, their financial decisions could impact your credit score, so you’ll want to fully understand the risks before you decide to become an authorized user.
Consider a co-signer
A co-signer is someone who will vouch for your ability to repay the debt. They will also assume responsibility of the situation if you stop making payments.
If you can’t repay the credit card debt, the credit card issuer will hold the co-signer liable for the debt that you accrued. A co-signer offers an added layer of protection and minimizes the risk for issuers, but you will also want to be mindful of the position you put your co-signer in when it comes to credit card debt.
Obtain a secured credit card
A secured credit card is similar to a traditional credit card, but you have to pay a deposit that is usually equivalent to the credit limit. You’ll still make monthly payments and pay interest, but if you stop paying or you default on your credit card, the issuer can use your security deposit to cover the debt. This option is a great way to establish and build credit.
What to consider before applying for a credit card with no income
Before applying for a credit card when you don’t have a steady stream of income, you’ll want to consider the risks that you are facing. You’ll likely pay a higher interest rate, and you might end up struggling to repay the debt if you don’t have sufficient income to work with as well. And if you miss a payment, your credit score will drop since payment history accounts for 35 percent of your credit score.
Does unemployment affect your credit score?
Unemployment doesn’t affect your credit score directly. It’s possible to maintain good credit if you can still pay your bills with other sources of income.
However, losing your job could have a trickle-down effect that ultimately impacts your credit score. Your credit card utilization might rise if you take on more debt than you can afford to repay as well.
So, what’s the consensus?
Even without a job, there are several ways to obtain a credit card. Just make sure that you want to have a credit card for the right reasons, even if you can get one without a job. Avoid making purchases you can’t afford and obtaining cash advances you can’t repay right away.
Can I get a credit card without a job?
Yes. Employment is not a requirement for credit card approval, but creditors do consider household income as well as your ability to repay the debt.
If you’re married, can you claim your spouse’s income for a credit card?
Your household income, including that of your spouse or partner, can be listed on your credit card application if you are 21 years old or older.
Is there a way to get a credit card before I’m 18?
When you’re younger than 18, the only way to obtain a credit card is to sign up as an authorized user on an adult’s credit card account. You can’t open a credit card account on your own until you are 18 years old.