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How to Fill Out a Credit Card Application Online

Last Updated: February 28, 2024
4 min read

Key points:

  1. A credit card application requires personal information such as your name, address, and Social Security number.

  2. Credit card issuers may check your credit score and review your credit history before approving your application.

  3. You can apply online for a credit card, as well as through the mail or over the phone.

Whether you're looking to build credit, earn rewards, or simply have a convenient payment method, understanding how to navigate the credit card application process is essential. In this guide, we'll walk you through the steps and provide valuable insights to ensure you approach your credit card application with confidence and accuracy. From gathering the necessary information to reviewing terms and conditions, you’ll have all the information you need to get started.

What do you need to fill out a credit card application?

If it’s your first time filling out an application for a credit card online, you may be curious about the process. What do you need to fill out a credit card application? While different credit card issuers might ask for different types of information, here’s a look at the things that are common to most credit card applications:

You may need to provide personal information

A credit card application asks for personal information like your full name, home address, email address, date of birth, and Social Security number. According to the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, federal law requires credit card issuers to verify your identity before account opening with the personal information in your application. The card issuer will also use your personal information to request your credit report, since your credit history and credit score are factors that affect whether you get approved and what your credit limit will be.

Did you know?

If you don’t have a good credit score, you can apply for a secured credit card. Like an unsecured credit card, you can fill out a secured credit card application online. The Discover it® Secured Credit Card helps you build your credit history.1

You may need to provide financial information

Employment: A credit card application typically asks you to select your employment status, such as full-time, part-time, self-employed, unemployed, retired, or student. You don’t necessarily need to have a full-time job for your credit card application to be approved, if you can show your ability to make your monthly payments through other income.

Income: On your credit card application, issuers will likely ask for your total gross income, which helps them decide if you qualify for a credit card account and the credit limit. If you’re 21 or older, you may include another person’s income that is available to you. If you’re under 21, you may consider the amount of another person’s income that is regularly deposited into your account.

Housing costs: The credit card issuer will consider your mortgage or rent payments when you apply for a credit card to help determine whether you qualify for an account.

How do I check my credit card application status?

There are a few different ways to check your credit card application status, depending on the credit card company you apply to. You may be able to call customer service or check a page on the issuer’s website to determine your approval status.

If you’ve applied for a Discover card, you can easily check the status of your application through our online banking platform. Once you’ve received credit card approval, you’ll be able to access your credit account with the Discover mobile app.

Not a Discover Cardmember?

Find the best credit card for you. See if you’re pre-approved with no harm to your credit score.2

Do I have to apply for a credit card online?

Most credit card issuers have options for you to apply by mail or phone if you don’t want to submit your credit card application online but applying for your credit card online may be the most convenient way to apply. Note that if you’re under 21, you can’t apply for a credit card account on the phone.

How long does a credit card application take?

Filling out a credit card application online shouldn’t take too much time as long as you have access to the required information before you begin filling out the credit card application.

Once you’ve submitted the application, credit approval can be decided immediately or could take longer, depending on the card issuer and whether you have to provide additional information once the application is submitted.

How to apply for a credit card: the bottom line

By taking some time to understand how to apply for a credit card online, you can cut some stress out of the process. Once you understand the details of the credit card application process, you’ll be able to move through the steps with ease.

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  1. Build credit with responsible use: Discover reports your credit history to the three major credit bureaus so it can help build/rebuild your credit if used responsibly. Late payments, delinquencies or other derogatory activity with your credit card accounts and loans may adversely impact your ability to build/rebuild credit.
  2. There is no hard inquiry to your credit report to check if you’re pre-approved. If you’re pre-approved, and you move forward with submitting an application for the credit card, it will result in a hard inquiry which may impact your credit score. Receiving a pre-approval offer does not guarantee approval. Applicants applying without a social security number are not eligible to receive pre-approval offers. Card applicants cannot be pre-approved for the NHL Discover Card.

  • Legal Disclaimer: This site is for educational purposes and is not a substitute for professional advice. The material on this site is not intended to provide legal, investment, or financial advice and does not indicate the availability of any Discover product or service. It does not guarantee that Discover offers or endorses a product or service. For specific advice about your unique circumstances, you may wish to consult a qualified professional.