How to Appeal a Denied Credit Card Application

Photo (cc) by seishin17

Have you ever applied for a credit card on the spot in order to take advantage of a great promotional offer?

You think you’ve been preapproved, but that’s one of the common myths about these offers that come in the mail. What happens when your application is denied or held up for further review? Are you just out of luck?

Not necessarily.

Note: The scenario I just described is a prime example of why I encourage consumers to carefully research credit cards and their qualification criteria prior to applying to decrease the chances of denial and avoid the ding an application can have on your credit scores. The denial won’t affect your credit scores, but the hard pull on your credit report when you apply for a new credit card will.

Fortunately, the initial denial can be appealed by taking a few simple steps.

Potential reasons for denial

Before I get to the process, it’s essential that we cover the potential reasons for the rejection of your application. Time is of the essence, so start by requesting a copy of the credit report they used to make the decision, along with a thorough explanation of why they turned you down.

In some instances, you may have a credit report or application error that can be reversed rapidly through an appeal, or perhaps a computer glitch generated a false rejection.

Here are some other reasons your application could have gotten the ax.

  • Too many late payments. If you can’t make timely payments to other creditors, why should this company take a risk on you? In most cases, there is a grace period of 30 or 60 days before the issuer reports the delinquency to the major credit bureaus, so late payments in your reports indicate that you are having a difficult time managing the outstanding debt you already have.
  • High credit utilization ratio. Swiping away, but making, say, only minimum payments each month? This is another red flag to creditors, and demonstrates that you are biting off more debt than you can chew.
  • Credit newbie. Too new to the credit card world? If you don’t have a track record by which the creditor can assess your creditworthiness, they may not be willing to take a chance on you. You can always try a secured card to help build your credit.
  • Poor credit score. Credit card issuers typically set a minimum threshold for applicants.
  • Limited income. A small paycheck could mean that you may be inclined to use your credit card without being able to pay it off in a timely manner. This obligation could quickly drop to the bottom of the list of monthly priorities if things get a little tight.
  • Employment history. Are there gaps in your employment history? Or maybe you’ve held a large number of jobs in a brief period of time. Either way, potential creditors may perceive your fluctuating income as a major risk factor.

Assuming none of those reasons apply, the next step is for you to plead your case to the credit card issuer.

Step 1: Pick up the phone

By doing so, it may be possible to speak with a company representative who has the ability to reverse the decision. During the call, you want to do the following:

  • Explain how their product will help you accomplish your objective. Maybe you are new to the credit world and you have decided to begin your journey with their product.
  • Put your other relationships at the forefront. Having this brand-new shiny piece of magic plastic is a good fit because you already possess a number of their other products — a bank account and debit card, for instance.
  • Be patient. They are doing you a favor, so a bad attitude can kill your chances.
  • Stroke their ego. Emphasize that the features of the card best suit your needs.

Step 2: Mail the requested documentation promptly

If they aren’t willing to make a reversal via telephone, but have agreed to give the application another round of reviews, be sure to send all of the documents that will strengthen your case as quickly as possible.

Step 3: Write a letter

You can also try writing a letter. It should include the following:

  • Introduction and reason for the letter.
  • State your case and why you are a good candidate.
  • Contact information and a statement reiterating your interest.

Still no luck? You can always search for another piece of magic plastic or work on building your credit profile until you meet the qualification criteria. Check out “10 Ways to Build Your Credit Score Fast.”

Have you ever appealed a credit decision? If so, what was the result? Let us know in the comments below or on our Facebook page.

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.

Read Next
Grow Your Savings in 2020 With These 5 Tricks
Grow Your Savings in 2020 With These 5 Tricks

Saving money doesn’t have to be painful. Here are some ways to game yourself into stashing more cash.

15 Things You Should Always Buy at Yard Sales
15 Things You Should Always Buy at Yard Sales

You can save a ton of money — especially if you spot any of these items.

13 Brilliant Bulk-Buy Items on Amazon
13 Brilliant Bulk-Buy Items on Amazon

Every household should have these products on hand. Buying them in bulk on Amazon saves you cash.

Watch This: Organize Your Home With Dollar Tree Products
Watch This: Organize Your Home With Dollar Tree Products

Here’s how to organize every corner of your home using only items from a dollar store.

11 Expenses That Quietly Drain Your Wallet
11 Expenses That Quietly Drain Your Wallet

It’s scandalously easy to overspend in these areas of your life.

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Most Popular
11 Things Retirees Should Always Buy at Costco
11 Things Retirees Should Always Buy at Costco

This leader in bulk shopping is a great place to find discounts in the fixed-income years.

Over 50? The CDC Says You Need These 4 Vaccines
Over 50? The CDC Says You Need These 4 Vaccines

Fall is the time to schedule vaccines that can keep you healthy — and even save your life.

9 Things You’ll Never See at Costco Again
9 Things You’ll Never See at Costco Again

The warehouse store offers an enormous selection, but these products aren’t coming back.

11 Senior Discounts for Anyone Age 55 or Older
11 Senior Discounts for Anyone Age 55 or Older

There is no need to wait until you’re 65 to take advantage of so-called “senior” discounts.

11 Household Items That Go Bad — or Become Dangerous
11 Household Items That Go Bad — or Become Dangerous

When you get the impulse to stockpile these everyday items, pay close attention to their expiration dates.

8 Things You Can Get for Free at Pharmacies
8 Things You Can Get for Free at Pharmacies

In this age of higher-priced drugs and complex health care systems, a trip to the pharmacy can spark worry. Freebies sure do help.

These Are the 4 Best Medicare Advantage Plans for 2020
These Are the 4 Best Medicare Advantage Plans for 2020

Medicare Advantage customers themselves rate these plans highest.

7 Ways to Boost Your Credit Score Fast
7 Ways to Boost Your Credit Score Fast

Your financial security might soon depend upon the strength of your credit score.

The 10 Most Commonly Stolen Vehicles in America
The 10 Most Commonly Stolen Vehicles in America

A new model parks atop the list of vehicles that thieves love to pilfer.

19 High-Paying Jobs You Can Get With a 2-Year Degree
19 High-Paying Jobs You Can Get With a 2-Year Degree

These jobs pay more than the typical job in the U.S. — and no bachelor’s degree is required.

5 Ways to Get Amazon Prime for Free
5 Ways to Get Amazon Prime for Free

Hesitant to drop $119 a year on an Amazon Prime membership? Here’s how to get it for free.

10 Reasons Why You Should Actually Retire at 62
10 Reasons Why You Should Actually Retire at 62

If you can, here are several good reasons to retire earlier than we’re told to.

3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free
3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free

With a little ingenuity, you can cut Office costs to zero.

14 Things That Are ‘Free’ With Medicare
14 Things That Are ‘Free’ With Medicare

These services could save you money and help prevent costly health problems.

26 States That Do Not Tax Social Security Income
26 States That Do Not Tax Social Security Income

These states won’t tax any of your Social Security income — and in some cases, other types of retirement income.

5 Keys to Making Your Car Last for 200,000 Miles
5 Keys to Making Your Car Last for 200,000 Miles

Pushing your car to 200,000 miles — and beyond — can save you piles of cash. Here’s how to get there.

5 Things That Make Life More Meaningful for Retirees
5 Things That Make Life More Meaningful for Retirees

Retirees agree: These are the things that give them purpose and fulfillment in their golden years.

10 Things You Should Never Do With Bleach
10 Things You Should Never Do With Bleach

Does the pandemic have you reaching for bleach more than ever before? Learn the ins and outs of using this powerful disinfectant.

15 Amazon Purchases That We Are Loving Right Now
15 Amazon Purchases That We Are Loving Right Now

These practical products make everyday life a little easier.

View More Articles

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Add a Comment

Our Policy: We welcome relevant and respectful comments in order to foster healthy and informative discussions. All other comments may be removed. Comments with links are automatically held for moderation.