Credit card issuers typically compare an applicant’s income to any existing debt. If this “debt-to-income” ratio satisfies the lender, an applicant is more likely to be approved. Applications also typically ask for rent or mortgage payments, loan payments, and any other bills or expenses that may hinder an applicant’s ability to pay.
If you are unemployed and have no source of income to list, there are a few more options available to consider when looking for a line of credit.
1. Become an authorized user on someone else’s card.
Potentially the easiest way to access a credit card without having income, becoming an authorized user is to convince a friend or family member to add a user to their own card. Having an income is not a requirement to be a Authorized user. The authorized user gets their own credit card with their name and information, but the person who holds the account (the primary cardholder) is responsible for all payments. If the authorized user spends more than expected or does not reimburse everything, it puts the account holder at risk (especially if they cannot pay the balance themselves). For this reason, it is advisable to set a responsible spending limit and payment plan with the account holder.