Self-Employed? Get Approved with these Credit Card Application Tips
Smart Money

Self-Employed? Get Approved with these Credit Card Application Tips

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Being self-employed can provide plenty of benefits. Not only can you enjoy being your own boss, you can also do things the way you want to do them, while keeping to your own schedule. Unfortunately though, there are downsides to being self-employed that you may need to deal with as well.

One of stumbling blocks many self-employed people encounter appear when applying for credit. Whether it’s a home loan or credit card application, credit providers typically ask more of self-employed applicants, making it harder for them to get approved.

But, that doesn’t mean it’s impossible. If you are self-employed and looking to apply for a credit card, you can make it easier on yourself by doing 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.

Getting Started

Before you start comparing credit cards, you need to first find out which credit card providers allow applications from self-employed applicants. To make this easier, we’ve compiled a list of providers and the documentation they require to assess applications from the self-employed.

  • 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.

Comparing Credit Cards

Now you know which card providers allow for applications from self-employed applicants, it’s time to start comparing the options. Comparing credit cards is pretty easy when you know what to look for, but to do that, you need to know what you need from your card.

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 will pay, as well as any interest free periods offered, and rewards programs or extras provided. Weigh the value of these against what you’re paying out in interest and fees.

Want more? Check out our Credit Card Application Tips.

Mistakes to Avoid

Having a credit card application declined is more than just frustrating, it can also damage your chances of being approved in the future. Every time you apply for a credit card, it is noted in your credit file. A list of declined applications may signal high risk to potential card providers, causing them to decline future applications.

Want to improve your chances of approval? Here are some mistakes you should avoid.

Disregarding Eligibility Requirements

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.

Applying for Multiple Credit Cards

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.

Founder - Roland B Bleyer

Roland Bleyer

Founder of Creditcard.com.au. Roland has extensive knowledge about credit cards in Australia. Known as a credit card expert, he has been featured on tv and in various publications.
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