The next time you buy a shoe or a ticket to the Super Bowl, be sure you’re picking up your credit card just in time.
That was the message from credit card experts this week, who said American credit card applications rose by 13 percent during the first six months of this year compared with the year-ago period. That’s especially big for those with higher credit scores.
Despite the rise, applications to credit cards declined again for those with lower credit scores, according to data from Experian, which owns credit information company TransUnion.
Consumers with higher credit scores, measured by one of the most commonly used credit scoring models, have the best credit with banks and lenders, Experian said.
Consumers with lower credit scores are more likely to have difficulty qualifying for certain types of credit cards, including card that require a higher minimum payment, for example.
Although credit card applications dropped in the first half of 2018, they rose again in the second half of the year, says Dean Baker, policy director for the Center for Economic and Policy Research, a think tank in Washington.
Among other measures, the data show that the increase in credit card applications is driven by a rebound in growth of credit card usage, Baker says.
Since the financial crisis, nearly 90 percent of Americans with a credit card have been able to get approved for new credit, but only half of those who can use it are doing so, Baker says.
To prove his point, Baker cites research by Sung Won Sohn, a professor at California State University, Fullerton. Sohn points out that nearly half of credit card applications are from people who don’t qualify for a card, which is why people who want to buy cars from a dealership and have bigger purchases won’t get approved.