Can I Get a Credit Card Without a Job?

If you want a credit card and you don’t have a job, you might be wondering you can get a credit card without a job. This post will provide you with everything you need to know about getting a credit card without having a job.

Can You Get a Credit Card Without a Job?

You can get a credit card without a job, but you must have a source of income to be approved for a credit card. This is so because the Credit Card Act requires lenders to consider your ability to pay back the money you’re going to borrow on your credit card. Without any income, you will not be able to make your credit card payments on time.

So, if you’re unemployed and you do not have a job, you may still qualify for a credit card, but you must have some income in order to be able to make the minimum payments on your credit card. In addition to having an income, when considering your credit card application, the credit card issuer will consider your credit score and existing debt.

That said, when it comes to calculating your income for getting a credit card without a job, you can include any household income that you can access. This includes your own income, self-employment income, your spouse’s income, investment income, alimony income, unemployment income, retirement income, and many other types of income.

So, if you have any of these types of income, you should include them on your credit card application because your card issuer will consider them when determining whether to grant you a credit card.

When it comes to determining your credit limit, the card issuer will look at your income, any debts that you have, and your other payment obligations, such as your rent or mortgage. If you have too much debt, your card issuer may approve you for only a low credit limit. So, make sure to include all of your income to obtain the highest credit limit.

If you do not have sufficient income and your application for a credit card is denied, here are some other options that you should consider.

What Should You Do If You Can’t Get a Credit Card Without a Job?

If you do not have a job, here are some alternatives that you should consider. These alternatives are easier to obtain than applying on your own for a regular unsecured credit card.

1. Secured Credit Card

If you applied for a regular credit card and did not get approved, you should consider applying for a secured credit card. Secured credit cards are significantly easier to be approved for than regular credits because you are required to make a security deposit to obtain the card. Typically, the security deposit you place with the card issuer determines your credit limit. For example, if you make a $500 security deposit, you will be issued a secured credit card with a $500 credit limit. Typically, you can make a security deposit as large as $5,000.

That said, secured credit cards work the same was do regular credit cards, and they can be a great tool for building your credit. Your secured credit card account status is reported to the credit bureaus the same way a regular credit card account is reported to the credit bureaus. So, making your payments on time can significantly improve your credit. However, don’t miss any payments because missing even a single payment can cause significant damage to your credit.

2. Get a Credit Card With a Co-signer

Very few banks allow the practice, but some card issuers still offer consumers the ability to get a credit card with a cosigner. Ask a close friend or relative if they are willing to co-sign for a credit card with you. When you get someone to co-sign a credit card with you, the card issuer will consider both your income and the co-signers income, making it easier for someone who does not have a job to qualify for a regular unsecured credit card.

That said, you should be aware that if you miss payments on the credit card or you default, you will cause significant damage to not only your credit but also the co-signers credit. So, make sure the cosigner understands this before asking them to co-sign with you. This is so because both the primary account holder and the cosigner are responsible for the repayment of the debt.

After a quick internet search, Bank of America and U.S Bank still allow consumers to obtain a credit card with a cosigner.

3. Authorized User On Credit Card

If you weren’t able to get a credit card because you do not have a job, you should consider becoming an authorized user on a relative’s or close friend’s credit card. By becoming an authorized user, you will be issued a credit card with your name on it and you can use the card just as you would a regular credit card. The only difference is that, as an authorized user, you are not liable for the debt incurred on the card. Instead, the primary account holder is liable for making payments on the card. Since the account status is going to be reported on your credit report, you should only ask someone to add you as an authorized user if you believe that he or she will make on-time payments on the card. If the primary account holder misses payments or defaults, negative items will appear on your credit report, as well.

Should You Get a Credit Card Without a Job?

Although you may be able to get a credit card without having a job, the question that presents itself is: should you? If you’re unemployed but you have a source of income, it may be a good idea to get a credit card so that you can build your credit. However, if you’re unemployed and have little income, it may not make sense to obtain a credit card because it is easy to fall into debt by overspending on your card without having sufficient money to pay off the balance.

Additionally, credit cards can be very expensive, so if you plan on leaving a balance on your credit card, you should take into consideration the interest you’ll be paying on the money you’ve borrowed. Nevertheless, a credit card that is used properly can be a great tool for building your credit. Just make sure to make all of your payments on time because missing even a single payment can cause a significant drop in your credit score.

Even if you don’t have a job, so long as you have some income, you may be approved for a credit card, if you’re not approved, consider applying for a secured credit card, getting a cosigner, or adding yourself as an authorized user on someone else’s credit card.

Does Getting a Credit Card While Being Unemployed Affect Your Credit Score?

Regardless of whether you’re employed or unemployed, applying for a credit card always results in a hard inquiry being added to your credit report when the card issuer reviews your credit report. Although a single hard inquiry will only lower your credit score by a few points, applying for too many credit cards within a short period of time results in several inquiries being added to your credit report, significantly lowering your credit score.

Opening a new credit card account can increase your credit score because the added credit limit you obtain when opening a new card can decrease your credit utilization (how much of your available credit you’re using). Additionally, opening a new card could increase your credit score because it increases the diversity of your accounts, commonly know as credit mix. The more types of accounts you have on your credit report, the better your credit score will be.

When you open a new credit card, for the best impact on your credit score, make sure to make all of your card payments on time. Missing even a single payment can cause significant damage to your credit. So, make all of your payments on time for your credit card to improve your credit score.

Does Being Unemployed Affect Your Credit Score?

No, being unemployed does not affect your credit score. In fact, your employment status does not appear on your credit report. Therefore, it has no impact on your credit. That said, not having a job can be considered by lenders and creditors when you apply for items, such as credit cards, personal loans, or auto financing. Lenders want to see that you have income in order to be able to pay off your debts.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQS)

1. Do you need a job to get a credit card?

Although you do not need a job to get a credit card, you must have some income to be approved for one. This is so because federal law mandates that credit card issuers assess your ability to repay the money you’re seeking to borrow before approving you. If you have no income, you have no way of repaying the money you want to borrow, and will therefore likely be denied.

2. Do credit cards require proof of income?

Although credit cards require that you have income, some card issuer will ask you for proof of income, while others will not. So, it all depends on your card issuer. Some card issuers just ask for your employment and salary without asking for proof, while others will require proof such as bank statements or pay stubs.

3. What is the minimum amount of income to get a credit card?

There is no set number for the amount of income that you must have to get a credit card. List the income that you’re making and see if you’re approved.

4. Can a student get a credit card without income?

If you’re a student and you do not have any income, it will be difficult to obtain a credit card. You should ask a close friend or relative to cosign with you to obtain a credit card.