What documentation do I need to apply for a credit card?

Canstar explains some of the paperwork you may need when applying for a credit card. 

When applying for a credit card, you will need to have some documentation ready to demonstrate you meet several eligibility criteria conditions:

Identity documents Identity documents: 1 x primary ID with photo (e.g. passport, driver’s licence); OR 2 x primary ID without photo (e.g. birth certificate, Medicare card); OR 1 x primary ID without a photo + 1 x secondary ID (e.g. utility bill)
Proof of income Proof of income (e.g. payslips, ATO tax assessments)
Proof of debt if applying for balance transfer Proof of debt if applying for balance transfer (e.g. credit card statement)


You may be able to provide this information via a photo from your smartphone or computer if you’re applying online, by providing the originals (where the lender may take photocopies) in branch, or by mailing photocopies along with a printed application form to the lender (if you live in a remote area). A number of lenders allow online applications to be done online, so you may not need to bring in the physical originals or copies to a branch.

Shopping around for a credit card?

Whether you're a rewards-seeker, a frequent flyer or a low rate chaser, you can easily compare from over 200 cards with Canstar.

If applying for a joint credit card, you may also need to provide all of the above documentation for your other cardholder on the account.

Some information you may need to list in your application form include:

  • Full name
  • Date of birth
  • Residential address and status (e.g. citizen, permanent resident, long-term visa)
  • Contact details (most lenders require both a phone number and an email address these days)
  • Number of dependants (children) you have
  • Occupation
  • Employer’s name and contact details
  • Income per year (include annual salary, bonuses or commissions, and secondary income such as investment dividends)
  • If self-employed, provide your accountant’s information and previous ATO tax assessments
  • Current balance of your savings and transactions accounts
  • Current balance of other credit cards and other debts you already have
  • Monthly expenses (include rent, mortgage, groceries, fuel or public transport, utilities, insurance, and more)
  • Your preferred credit limit for the card (optional)

If applying for a joint credit card, you may also need to provide all of this information for the other cardholder. If applying for additional cardholders to be added to your account, you will need to provide their personal details (full name, age, contact information) but not details of their income and expenses.

What about if I get instant approval?

Credit Card instant approval

You will still likely need to provide the supporting documentation after receiving instant approval. Instant approval is available with most lenders that let you apply online, and it can mean that a response is emailed to you within 60 seconds after you submit your online application.

If you receive instant approval but do not proceed to send in copies of the documentation, your card will not be mailed to you or it may be mailed but not be able to be activated until you provide the documentation.

If you’re currently comparing credit cards, the comparison table below displays some of the low interest credit cards currently available on Canstar’s database for Australians looking to spend around $2,000 per month. Please note that this table features links direct to the provider’s website, and is sorted by Star Rating (highest to lowest), followed by provider name (alphabetical). Use Canstar’s credit card comparison selector to view a wider range of credit cards.

Learn more about Credit Cards


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