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How to Get a Credit Card in a Tight Credit Market

Getting a credit card in a good economy is a very easy task. In a good economy, companies will extend you credit even if you have a poor credit score. The credit these companies extend will not be good (i.e., the credit card will have numerous fees and an extremely high interest rate), but these companies will still be willing to hand out credit cards. However, in a down economy, credit cards are not as easy to come by.

Companies are less likely to overlook credit score mishaps when evaluating whether to approve you for a credit card. Due to this fact, how do you get a credit card in a tight credit market?

The simplest and most obvious answer to this question is to repair your credit if you have bad credit. Repairing your credit will not only enable you to have a better chance of obtaining credit in a tight credit market, it will also help you in the long run to obtain a loan for a big purchase (e.g., a home, car, etc.) and/or a big event (e.g., a wedding, college education, etc.). As such, cleaning up your credit is one of the best things you can do for your financial future. Coincidentally, repairing your credit will also help you get a credit card in a down economy.

Another way to obtain a credit card in a tight credit market is to shop around at various banks, banking institutions, and financial institutions. Even if the general consensus is that the credit market as a whole is "tight," this does not mean that every credit granting institution is cutting back or otherwise curtailing their credit card business. You may have to look to uncommon banks or financial institutions, but you should be able to find a company that is willing to give you a credit card.

Talking to banks with which you already have a relationship can also help you get a credit card in a tight credit market. In a down economy, banks are more willing to extend credit to customers that have an established track record with that bank. However, this does not mean that new customers have no options. Banks will often offer new customers a deal (such as offering a credit card when that person opens a checking account) to entice such customers into becoming long term clients.

There are many things you can do to get a credit card in a tight credit market. It is important, however, to note that you should not settle for a bad credit card merely because the credit market is "tight." If you are in the market for a credit card and it does not seem that any good credit terms exist on any credit card offers you have investigated, you should reevaluate your need for a credit card at that particular moment. If your credit issues are more of a "want" than a "need," wait until things get better before getting a credit card. If, however, the opposite is true, make sure you pick the better of the two evils.