Top 5 Reasons Your Credit Card Application Was Rejected

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Getting denied for a credit card sucks and can really be a blow to your confidence. I was recently denied for the Citi Double Cash Credit Card and didn’t understand why Citi Bank would deny my credit card application. After doing a lot of research I discovered why my credit card application was rejected and put together the top 5 reasons your credit card application was denied. I hope you find these tips for reversing your credit card application denial helpful and are able to implement them and get approved for the credit card you want!

You Didn’t Fill Out The Application Correctly

The first reason your application may be denied is if you didn’t fill it out correctly. If you forgot your Social Security number or you made a typo in that, your application is probably going to be automatically get denied. The great thing is that if you get denied for either misfiling out the application or because your credit is frozen, it’s a super easy fix, all you have to do is call the company that you applied. If you applied for a Citi credit card, call Citi up, explain to them what happened, tell them you were surprised by the denial and they’ll usually explain to you that there was some sort of error on your application. They can go ahead and process it again and hopefully get you that approval.

You Don’t Earn Enough Money

The second reason you may be denied that credit card is because you don’t earn enough money. Most credit card companies don’t list what the minimum income that they require but if a $500 credit limit is going to put you in major debt, it’s likely you’re not earning enough money to be able to afford that credit card. Although credit card companies prefer for you to carry a small balance (so they can charge you interest) they want to avoid having you default. If the credit card company feels you may have trouble paying back the balance it makes you a pretty big risk and they will likely deny your credit card application.

The best thing you can do if you get denied because you don’t earn enough income is to wait, get a second job or a promotion or some extra way to earn money and then go ahead and apply again once your income is higher.

You Have a Negative Mark on Your Credit Report

The third reason your credit card application may have been denied is because you have something negative on your credit report. So if you’re denied because you have a negative mark on your credit report, the first thing that you need to do is to go ahead and check your credit reports. You can actually get a free report from each of the 3 credit bureaus: Equifax, Experian, and Transunion every single year (thank you federal government for making this a law!).

To access your free credit report,  go to and request your free report. Keep in mind, you only get one free report every year and they don’t show your actual credit score on those reports. If you want to see your actual credit score, you have to pay for that with each of the 3 bureaus. Getting your free credit report will show you what credit card companies are seeing when they pull your report and will show you if there are any negative marks.

If you’re denied because you have something negative on your credit report, you can call the credit card company’s reconsideration line. Every major credit card company has a reconsideration line and you can call them up and try to explain the negative mark and see if they will go ahead and approve your application after talking with you.

Credit Card Reconsideration Lines (Phone Numbers)

American Express Reconsideration Phone Number

1 (877) 399-3083

Bank Of America Reconsideration Phone Number

1 (866) 458-8805

Barclay’s Reconsideration Phone Number

1 (888) 232-0780

Capital One Reconsideration Phone Number

1 (800) 625-7866

Chase Bank Reconsideration Phone Number

1 (888) 270-2127

Citi Bank Reconsideration Phone Number

1 (800) 695-5171

Discover Reconsideration Phone Number

1 (888) 676-3695

US Bank Reconsideration Phone Number

1 (800) 947-1444

Wells Fargo Reconsideration Phone Number

1 (866) 412-5956

You Have Too Much Debt

The fourth reason your credit card application may have been denied was because you have too much debt. When a credit card company looks into you and decides whether or not they want to extend you credit they’ll look to see how much available credit you have and how much of that credit you’re actually using. If you have $10,000 of available credit and you’re using $5,000 of it, your utilization ratio is 50% and that’s a really high ratio for credit card companies. Most credit card companies want to see your utilization ratio below 20%.

If you’re denied because your utilization ratio is too high and you have too much debt; wait, pay off your debt, and apply again. One thing to note, credit card companies keep your application open for about 30 days. If you’re able to pay off your debt to get your utilization ratio below 20%, call the credit card company’s reconsideration line and see if they will reconsider your application without requiring you to apply again.

Your Credit History Isn’t Long Enough

The fifth reason your credit card application may have been denied was because your credit history isn’t long enough. If you’re just starting out and you’ve never had any credit cards or loans, car loans, student loans before you have zero credit history and that’s really worrisome to these credit card companies. You’re a really high risk because credit card companies don’t know how you’re going to behave.

It is nearly impossible to have a credit card company reconsider your application if you were denied because your credit history isn’t long enough. Trust me, I’ve tried. You’ll have to apply for an easier to obtain a credit card.

If you’re a student, student credit cards are pretty easy to come by and that could be a great option for you. These days student credit cards even offer you cash back and actually have pretty good rewards. Check out ValuePenguin’s list of the best credit cards for students. If you’re not a student and you still have no credit history or your credit history isn’t long enough, try looking into a secured credit card. Check out NerdWallet’s list of the best-secured credit cards of 2017.

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