One of the criteria considered by credit card issuers when you apply for a credit card is your income source. Besides your credit score, an issuer wants to be sure that you have to capacity to repay your debts. To get a credit card without a job or any steady source of income is not always easy.
Many credit card applications only ask for generic occupation or employment and income information. You may simply have to choose whether you’re a student, government worker, homemaker, self-employed worker, or unemployed. Some applications may ask the name of your employer but allow you to enter “None” if you don’t have one. You may find that some applications do not ask for employer information at all. If employment information is requested on the credit card application, you’re legally required to answer honestly.
Income is More Important | How to Get a Credit Card Without a Job
Even if you don’t have to enter employment information, the application will require you to list your total annual income. You can include alimony, child support, or any other income you want to be considered for repaying your card balance. To calculate your total annual income: multiply weekly income by 52; multiply bi-monthly income by 24; multiply income you receive every other week by 26, and multiply monthly income by 12.
Listing Someone Else’s Income | Get a Credit Card Without a Job
If you’re an adult over age 21, you can use someone else’s income on your credit card application if you can reasonably expect to have access to that income to pay your bills. This could be your spouse or parents. For instance, if your spouse regularly transfers a certain amount of money to your account, you can use the amount that’s transferred as your income. Or, if you have shared an account with someone else and have access to all the funds, you can use the regular deposits as your income. However, if your spouse, partner, or parent does not transfer money to you and you do not have joint access to an account with them, you cannot use their income on your credit card application.
Get a Credit Card With Someone Else
Another option for getting a credit card without a job is to get a credit card with another person either as an authorized user or as a joint account holder. As an authorized user, you have the right to use the credit card, but without the legal responsibility to pay. Your income and credit history are not considered when you’re added as an authorized user.
Being a joint account holder gives you both the rights and responsibilities of using a credit card. When you apply jointly, your income and credit history are considered alongside that of the other applicant. However, if the other applicant has enough income, you can be approved for the credit card even if you don’t have a job.
Try a Secured Card
While secured credit card applications will often ask about your employment and income, you’re more likely to be approved. This is because you’re making a security deposit as collateral. With the Capital One Secured MasterCard, for example, you can make a security deposit as low as $49 for a $200 credit limit, depending on your creditworthiness. The higher your security deposit, the higher your credit limit will be. The Discover it Secured is another good option for a secured credit card. This one pays rewards on your credit card purchases.
If you don’t have a job, carefully consider your ability to repay the credit card balance before applying. If you’re approved and you don’t have the means to repay your charges, you face credit troubles: late payments, charge-offs, and debt collections.