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Here's What Happened When I Applied For My First Credit Card

Heads up: The process involves a lot of waiting.
PHOTO: SHUTTERSTOCK
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If you were to take a look at my wallet right now, the first things you'll see are my debit cards, some polaroid pics, a bit of cash, and my driver's license. Unlike other people, one thing I don't have just yet is my very own credit card. For the longest time (aka since I was in third year high school), the only kind of credit card I've ever owned was an extension from my dad's account. It obviously had a credit limit, and I remember my parents would  constantly remind me to "only use it during an emergency." 

When I started working, I thought about what it would be like to have my own credit card. (Of course, I didn't want to depend on just the extension.) But as much as I wanted to apply for one kaagad, I felt like I still wasn't ready at the time. I mean, it's a big commitment after all! Using a credit card technically means I'll be borrowing money from the bank. With my savings account then, I had to think if I was actually capable of paying that kind of money back. Initially, I wasn't so I gave myself time to save some more and prepare for future *big* expenses. And just a few weeks ago, early this month to be exact, I finally decided to take the next step.

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Here's how I applied for my first-ever credit card.

Step 1: I filled out an application form.

The first thing I did was reach out to my preferred bank. Because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, I really wanted to avoid physical contact and large crowds. So instead of actually going to the bank, I gave them a call to inquire. They asked for my email address and advised that they'll send me an application form with further instructions. 

Surprisingly, I got an email that same day I called! The Branch Operations Officer sent a two-paged application form and included a list of documents that had to be submitted as well. Filling out the form wasn't that difficult. It basically asked for my personal data (name, date and place of birth, address, company details, etc.). And if you want to apply for supplementary cardholders to your account, there's a section for that, too.

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Step 2: I submitted the application form via email along with additional documents.

As soon as I printed, filled out, and signed my credit card application form, I prepared the additional paperwork.

According to the requirements, I had to attach the following documents:

  • Three months payslip
  • Company ID
  • Government ID
  • Certificate of employment

Once I got these scanned and ready, I attached all the necessary documents, including my application form, and replied to the Branch Operations Officer's email. She acknowledged and informed me that the application is still subject for approval. The turnaround time is within three to five weeks.  

Step 3: Wait for the bank's approval.

As I'm typing this, it's been three weeks since I've sent the email and right now, my credit card is pending approval. Other Pinays have had some luck getting their application approved already, though. Janeree Coria, for example, shared that she recently got her first credit card after two months from when she applied. "After an in-bank transaction, I was asked if I was interested in applying for a credit card. I said yes, so they gave me an application form, which I filled out. Since I already have an existing passbook account with the bank, the application was easy for me. I didn't need to provide additional documents. After passing the form, I was told to wait for a confirmation if my application was approved. I waited for about two months before the card was delivered to my house. I actually didn't really receive a confirmation message from the bank and was quite shocked that there was a delivery from them, LOL" she mentioned. 

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So far, my experience with applying for my first credit card hasn't been that much of a hassle. Of course, it's not over until I actually get the card itself. I've still got some waiting to do, but I think one thing that really helped was that the required documents were easily accessible here at home. I have them filed and organized in folders, lol! So shoutout to all future credit card applicants: If you can, request for your COE and payslips ahead of time. It'll make everything more convenient! ;) 

To know more about credit cards, watch the video below.

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