Credit Cards for Self-Employed Individuals: Navigating Income Verification
Traditionally, availing credit or getting a credit card was restricted only to people in formal employment because of their verifiable and, more importantly, stable income. The rest had to figure out a way all by themselves, but those days are long gone now. Today, financial institutions are more accommodating and accept applications for Credit Cards without income proof.
If you are self-employed, you can get a Credit Card without having to provide a single salary slip, as long as you meet other requirements.
Learn how you can go about managing income verification to make a successful Credit Card application.
Importance of Income Verification
Credit Card companies need to verify your income to ensure you can repay your bills on time. Usually, these companies require some proof of income, such as Income Tax Returns (ITR) or bank statements. You should be honest about your income, as lying will only lead to the rejection of applications or even legal consequences. If you’ve got multiple streams of income, declare them.
Documentation Required for Self-Employed Individuals
As a self-employed individual, chances are you might not have payslips or Form 16 for income verification. But there are several other documents you can provide as proof of income. These include:
Income Tax Returns: ITR filing is mandatory for those earning over Rs 2.5 lakh annually. Many Credit Card companies ask for a copy of the latest ITR form as proof of income.
Bank Statements; If you are a freelancer or consultant, you can present your bank statements to verify your income. Bank statements show your regular income and expenses, thus indicating your financial capacity.
Business Proof; If you run a business, you can provide documents such as a business registration certificate, GST registration, etc., to prove your income.
Other relevant documents you might need to present include the following:
- Address proof
- Identity proof such as PAN Card, passport
- Passport sized photos
Tips for Managing Income Verification
There are plenty of ways you can manage income verification as a self-employed individual. Here are some of them:
Maintain Accurate Records
Maintaining accurate records of income and expenses is vital if you are self-employed. It helps keep track of all your earnings and expenses, including invoices, receipts, and bank statements. These come in handy to show proof of income to the bank or financial institution.
Keep these records organised and update them regularly to ensure easy access when needed.
Increase Your Credit Limit
If you have an existing Credit Card, using them responsibly is essential. Paying bills on time and avoiding defaulting is advised. By doing so, your credit limit can increase. This will come in handy for you to convince your preferred Credit Card company that you can manage your finances effectively.
Apply for a Secured Credit Card
If you have a low credit score or lack income proof, you might not be eligible for a regular Credit Card. In that case, you can apply for a Secured Credit Card. These cards require a deposit as collateral and are ideal for building credit scores.
Maintain a Good Credit Score
A good credit score increases your chances of a successful Credit Card application. This is why checking Credit Card status regularly is essential. Doing so will help you identify and correct errors or issues that may negatively impact your credit scores.
Choose Lenders that Understand Self-Employment
Working with self-employed individuals is a skill. This is why choosing a lender that understands self-employment is essential. You must research and identify a lender specialising in working with self-employed individuals. These lenders typically are more flexible in their income verification requirements and may be more willing to work with self-employed individuals than traditional banks or credit unions.
As a self-employed individual, having the option to get Credit Cards without income proof can benefit you in more ways than one. The application process for these cards is fast, easy, and convenient.
So make sure to follow the above-mentioned tips for a successful card application process.