A credit card has a positive impact on your financial life. You can use a credit card for more purchasing power or as an emergency fund. If managed correctly, the credit card will help you build a positive credit history. Qualifications vary by creditor. While most creditors require a source of income, you may get approved without it if you meet other qualifications.
To qualify for a credit card, you will need a good credit history. However, each creditor sets the limits on credit scores for their products and you may qualify for a credit card with a limited or poor credit history. The creditor will need other personal information, such as your full name, address and Social Security number. Creditors may ask you to provide a list of credit references. You can use anyone that can vouch for your credit worthiness, such as a friend or co-worker.
Most traditional credit cards require that the account holder have a source of verifiable income. This income can come from paychecks or self-employment income. You can also use other sources of income as long as you regularly receive money from this source. For example, Social Security payments, alimony payments, child support and disability payments all count as income. You may need to provide documentation for any income you list on a credit card application.
If you do not have a source of income, you may get approved with a co-signer. A co-signer promises to take over the debt if the main account holder defaults on the payments. This gives the creditor a sort of insurance policy on the credit card. By law, some applicants must have a co-signer. Bankrate reports that as of 2010, anyone under the age of 21 must have a co-signer or a source of income.
If you cannot find a traditional credit card, you may get approved for a secured credit card. With a secured credit card, you put down a deposit and the creditor opens an account in your name. Typically, the amount you put down as a deposit equals your available balance on the card. If you pay your bills on time every month and do not default on the credit card, you can graduate to a traditional card and receive your deposit back.