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What Should I Do If I Am Declined For A Credit Card?

What Should I Do If I Am Declined For A Credit Card?

Obtaining a credit card is relatively easy but not necessarily a guarantee for a number of different reasons. The lack of a credit history, excessive personal debt, short-term employment and other more nebulous factors may be the reason for being declined for a credit card. Regardless of the cause, there are certain steps which can be taken to increase your chances of being approved for a credit card the next time you apply.

Call Customer Service

Similar to not getting a job offer, sometimes it pays to ask additional questions to find out why you were turned down. Give customer service a call and ask them to review your credit card application. While the explanation provided may sound generic in nature there may be additional information which can assist you in the future. If you were declined specifically for having too much outstanding debt then the first step would be to start paying off other creditors. While there may be nothing you can do to turn the current decline into an approval it may help when you apply for other credit cards.

Check Your Credit Report

All consumers who are denied credit have access to a free credit report as part of the process. This in conjunction with the free annual credit report as provided under federal law, provide ample opportunities to get a copy of your credit report for further analysis. Consumers can go to www.annualcreditreport.com or call1-877-322-8228 to request a free copy of their credit report. Look specifically for black marks, length of employment, access to too much credit and excessive debt as possible reasons. Once you've narrowed down what the problem may have been you can take actions to repair your credit or pay down excessive debt.

Payoff Outstanding Debt

A significant amount of outstanding debt may or may not be the reason for being declined for a credit card. Whether or not that is the case, it still makes sense to pay off as much outstanding debt as possible in the event something unexpected happens. Access to credit may be necessary especially if you plan to try and apply for another credit card or a mortgage or auto loan. Excessive debt is the number one reason why most credit card offers are defined. The fear is that a consumer will get in over their head, fall behind on payments and eventually declare bankruptcy.

Give It Some Time

A lot can change in six months to a year and while you may have been declined for a credit card today that doesn't mean you can't apply again. If you started a new job then the length of employment may have been the reason for being declined. If you're initiating a credit repair strategy it can take months if not years to eliminate black marks. And if you owe a significant amount of outstanding debt to various creditors, it'll take a number of paychecks to pay down the balances. The point is, it takes time to get a financial house in order and when it comes to obtaining a credit card, patient definitely is a virtue.

Increase Your Income

If you want to shorten the time between being declined and getting approved for a credit card it may require getting a second job or adding overtime. Many credit repair strategies require a household or personal budget to manage finances and pay off debt. Instead of spending 18 to 24 months at your current income level you can shorten this to 6 to 12 months with additional income. It will also help boost your reported household income which is another factor when issuing credit cards to consumers.