Credit Card Application Denied? Here’s What to Do

Did you apply for a credit card only to find out that your application has been denied? It happens often, even to those with good credit. Here’s what to do if your credit card application is denied.

Denied for a credit card

1. Check the Denial Reason

Typically when you are declined for a credit card, the system will tell you why they were unable to approve your request for credit. Sometimes this happens instantly, other times you will have to wait for a letter in the mail.

Knowing why you were denied for a credit card is beneficial. It could be something as simple as a typo on your application, or it could mean the issuer considers your credit to be insufficient for that particular card.


2. Check Application Status

Sometimes when you apply for a credit card, you won’t be given a decision right away. In this case, it’s helpful to check the application status. You can do this at the following links:

Checking credit card application status can also sometimes give you the reason why the application was denied, or why it’s still pending.


3. Call In

If you had a credit card application declined, it’s usually worthwhile to call in to the issuing bank. First off, this can clear up any simple issues with the application like typos and other errors. And even if you were denied for a more serious reason, like insufficient credit history, you still may be able to get the decision reversed. Here are some tips:

  • You can call the main customer service number for the bank, or try to reach the credit card reconsideration department directly (info here).
  • Be calm and kind to the customer service reps. You won’t get anywhere by arguing.
  • Be prepared to explain anything odd about your credit report.
  • Be flexible. If you have another card with the same bank, offer to move credit around to get approved for the new application.
  • Have a good reason for wanting the card. If they ask, tell them you want the card because of a particular benefit it offers – not because you want the signup bonus!


4. Monitor Credit

Getting a credit card application declined may be a sign that your credit report is not up to par – or that you’re simply applying for cards that are difficult to get. Always monitor your credit and be aware of the factors that contribute to your score. You can use free tools like CreditKarma and AnnualCreditReport to monitor your credit score. Never pay for a credit monitoring service!


5. Apply for Attainable Cards

If you keep getting denied for credit cards and you have decent credit, the problem might be that you’re applying for premium cards. Some high-end credit cards often require a high credit score of 700+, 720+ or even 750+. On the other hand, some of the best no-annual fee cards are easier to get approved for even with less-than-stellar credit.

If you have very poor credit, you may specifically seek out a credit card for bad credit. These cards often require a security deposit in order to open. There are also some unsecured credit cards for low credit if you’d rather not have to put down a deposit. Either way, these cards can be a good way to build up your credit profile.

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