Before clicking “apply now” you need to make sure you can meet the bank’s eligibility requirements. Find out exactly what you need below.
A credit card can mean financial freedom and security, but you’ll need to meet the bank or provider’s requirements before applying. The exact requirements you’ll need to meet can vary from bank to bank, but there are a few general terms and conditions you’ll need to meet across the board. Understanding all of the information you need to provide will ensure your application process goes smoothly and will increase your chances of approval!
What information will I need to include?
Before you begin filling out the application there will likely be a small section to verify that you qualify and that you have read and understand the terms outlined by the provider. You could be asked to click that you are over 18 years of age, an Australian resident and that you have read the pertinent documents. Once you click yes to their list of eligibility requirements you will be able to continue to the full application.
The first thing you are asked on a credit card application is details about your personal information. Ensure that all the information provided is correct:
- Personal information. Full name and date of birth.
- Proof of identity. Supporting proof of identification such as a passport or driver’s licence
- Residential address. Current address and length of time there. In certain cases, you could be asked to also provide previous address information.
- Contact details. Contact information including a valid email address for the bank to contact you at
- Dependents. Number of dependents, such as your children.
Note that if you are applying for a joint credit card account, all of the same information will be required for the additional applicant.
The financial information portion of the credit card application helps to determine if you qualify and for how much. Expect to be asked about the following:
- Account details. Account details for savings and transactions along with the current balances.
- Assets. Assets you may have in savings, investments and property.
- Monthly expenses. Your monthly financial obligations including rent, mortgage and other living. expenses
- Credit. Monthly credit payments and the amount of available credit you have.
Employment and income information
The financial institution that you are applying with may want to verify that you are receiving a steady income. To do this they will ask for:
- Your occupation. For example, you’ll need to provide your title and the field you work in (e.g. media, education, management).
- Employment. You’ll need to specify the amount of time with current employer and provide your employer’s name and contact information.
- Income. Your annual income before taxes as well as any secondary income you may receive.
- Self-employed. Individuals who are self-employed when applying for a credit card may need to provide their accountants information in order to verify income.
There are a number of credit cards that are only available to Australian permanent residents and citizens. The provider may ask you to prove your residential status either with a passport or other documentation. Find out the information that temporary residents need to provide when applying for a credit card.
At some point in your application, you will be asked for your card preferences and given the option for a balance transfer.
- Credit limit. Choose a realistic credit limit that you’re likely to be approved for, while also considering what will support your financial needs without tempting you to make unnecessary purchases.
- Additional cardholders and their details. If you have a partner or children who you’d like to add as an additional cardholder, make sure to have their personal details ready.
- Balance transfer. You will need to list the issuers of your current credit cards, the card numbers and the respective amounts you wish to balance transfer. You may not transfer the balance from a card funded by the same bank, which can be tricky because the funding bank for credit card brands is not obvious. See our credit card application tips for more.
Finally, you will be asked to review your details before hitting the ‘submit’ button. Thoroughly check your form for accuracy, and remember that the application cannot be recalled once submitted. It will trigger an enquiry mark on your credit file, so make sure it’s worthwhile.
What else do I need to remember when applying?
- Eligibility requirements. This will include things like your age, residential status, and in some cases your salary.
- Required documentation. Identifying documents with a photo will be required along with current pay stubs or tax documents to help confirm your income.
- Document submission. Check how the process works for verifying your documents. In some cases, you may be able send copies via fax or you might have to bring them to a branch if you are applying through a local bank. Some providers will require that you submit supporting documents after the card has been sent in order to activate it.
- Balance transfer. If you are applying for a credit card with a balance transfer offer, you will need to provide the details of the accounts you plan on transferring on your application.
If you do the research first and gather together all of the information that will be asked of you, filling out an application online will only take a few minutes. Make your comparisons amongst the different cards you are interested in, and then study the application process before getting started. With the convenience of 60 second approval times, you could know within 15 minutes of clicking “apply now” whether you will be getting a brand new credit card.
Frequently asked questions
Why do credit card providers need details of my previous addresses?
Your previous addresses help with providing an accurate credit history. This is especially important with Australians who have common names that may be confused with another individual. This is also used to show what your history is as far as keeping up with your monthly payments.
Will I be able to check the status of my application?
Most banks will send you a confirmation email and reference number that allows you to track the progress of your application.
What if I don’t have time to finish the application right away?
You will be given the option of being able to save the application in a secure data base to be continued at a later date. Check for how long the provider will save that information before purging it from their system.
How will I know which documents I am going to need?
With most applications you will be provided with a list of the necessary documentation. Alternatively, you can also find this information at the bottom of finder.com.au credit card review pages.