Getting a credit card (or home loan) as a self-employed person can be tricky. Lenders see you as higher risk, so you’ll need to prove you’re worthy of their credit. Here’s how.
First, you’ll need to do some homework. By finding out more about which credit card providers accept applications from self-employed applicants – and exactly what they are looking for during the application process – approval could be just a few clicks away.
Before you start comparing credit cards, you need to know which credit card providers allow the self-employed to apply. To make it easier, we’ve compiled a list of providers and the documentation they require to assess applications from the self-employed.
|Credit Card Provider||Documents Required for Self-employed Applicants|
|American Express||You must provide your accountant’s details.|
|ANZ||You must provide your accountant’s name and contact number.|
|Bank Australia||You must provide full financials for your business, including returns and balance sheets for the last two years.|
|Bankwest||You must provide your two most recent Notices of Assessment, plus information regarding any other income, assets, ongoing expenses and liabilities.|
|Bank of Melbourne||You must provide an eligible tax return. Note, if you’ve been self-employed for less than a year, you are not eligible to apply.|
|BankSA||You must provide an eligible tax return. Note, if you’ve been self-employed for less than a year, you are not eligible to apply.|
|Bank of Queensland||You must provide your two most recent Notices of Assessment or two most recent income tax returns, and your two most recent business/company tax returns or two most recent business/company profit and loss statements.|
|Bendigo Bank||You must provide your accountant’s name and contact details, as well as details of your income, assets and liabilities.|
|Citi||You must provide your two most recent income tax returns or Notices of Assessment, and two of the most recent business/company tax returns or business/company profit and loss statements.|
|Coles||You must provide your Notice of Assessment for the previous financial year. Alternatively, you may provide a tax return detailing your individual taxable income prepared by your accountant. If you’ve been self-employed for less than a year, you must provide a letter from your accountant detailing the personal taxable income for the time you’ve been self-employed.|
|Commonwealth Bank||You must provide your ABN and the name of your business, alongside two supporting documents, such as your most recent tax return, ABN registration certificate, trade or qualification certification, projected income statement from your accountant, or a tax return from before you were self-employed.|
|Emirates||You must provide two of your most recent income tax returns or Notices of Assessment, plus two of your most recent business/company tax returns or business/company profit and loss statements.|
|Latitude Financial Services||You must provide your Notice of Assessment for the previous financial year. Alternatively, you may provide your most recent tax return detailing your individual taxable income, as prepared by your account. If you’ve been self-employed for a less than a year, you must provide a letter from your accountant outlining your personal taxable income for the time you’ve been self-employed.|
|HSBC||You must provide your most recent individual Notice of Assessment.|
|Jetstar||You must provide your accountant’s details.|
|ME Bank||You must provide your last two tax returns, your last Notice of Assessment, and your accountant’s details.|
|NAB||You must provide your accountant’s details.|
|St.George||You must provide your last Notice of Assessment. Note, if you’ve been self-employed for less than a year, you are not eligible to apply.|
|Suncorp||You must provide a recent tax statement or payslip, and your accountant’s name and contact details. If you’ve been self-employed for less than two years, you’ll also need to provide information on your income prior to your self-employment.|
|Virgin Money||Virgin Money credit cards are issued by Citi, so they follow the same rules as Citi credit cards.|
|Westpac||You must provide your last two tax returns.|
|Woolworths||You must provide your trading name and trading address, and your most recent tax statement.|
Now you know which card providers allow for applications from self-employed applicants, it’s time to start comparing the options. You’ll need to know what you wantt o get out of your card before you start comparing them side-by-side.
If you’re looking to save money, you may want to choose a card with a low annual fee or a low interest rate. Introductory offers could help you save even more money, providing no annual fee offers, 0% balance transfer offers or 0% purchase rate offers.
If you want something extra on your card – and tend to clear your balance month-to-month – you may want to choose a rewards card or a platinum card. The features and rewards offered on these cards could be used as an incentive at work, or as a way to enjoy your downtime.
When comparing your options, be sure to pay attention to the annual fee and rate of interest you’ll pay, as well as any interest free periods, the rewards programs and any extra perks. Weigh the value of these against what you’re paying out in interest and fees.
Want more? Check out our Credit Card Application Tips.
Having a credit card application declined is more than just frustrating, it can also damage your chances of being approved in the future. Every application is noted in your credit file. Every declined application signals high risk to future lenders, who might decline you based on your unfortunate credit history.
Want to improve your chances of approval? Here are some mistakes you should avoid.
All credit cards have eligibility requirements, and it’s up to you to make sure you meet them. If you do not meet the stipulated eligibility requirements, your application may be declined. If you are unsure whether you meet the eligibility requirements for your chosen credit card, contact the card provider for clarification.
As we know, credit card providers typically check each applicant’s credit file to assess credit worthiness. If you apply for multiple credit cards at a time, it suggests you may be having financial problems and desperately need credit. With this high risk red flag, card providers may decline your application, which again, makes it more difficult to get approved in future.
With all that in mind, it’s time to find and apply for your next credit card. Compare your options at creditcard.com.au to match your needs to the best credit card for you.
Pauline is a personal finance expert at CreditCard.com.au, with 8 years in money, budgeting and property reporting under her belt. Pauline is passionate about seeing Aussies win by making their money – and their credit cards – work smarter, harder and bigger.
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