My Credit Card Application Was Rejected! Now What?!?

by : Alain Diza

No doubt, you've probably gotten literally hundreds of credit card applications in the mail and online, and each and every one of them has said that you've been "Pre-Approved".

Of course it's natural that this would lead us to believe that the application process is simply a formality. After all, you've been approved already so no worries, right? Wrong! Many of the offers that say you're "pre-approved" don't actually mean for the credit card. I know it's misleading, but what they're really saying is that you've been approved to apply for your card, not actually receive one. Your actual approval will depend on several different factors, any of which can keep you off the receiving end.

We'll go over some of the reasons for rejection and what, if anything, can be done about them.


The most probable answer is your credit score. Although several other things may have been taken into consideration, such as your salary or time on your job, your credit score is usually the biggie. The catch here is that your credit history doesn't even have to be bad, it can be blank and that will work against you just as much as a bad score will. Having no credit is almost as bad as having bad credit since the credit card companies have no reference point to see just how you will handle your credit account.

If you have a history of making late payments on bills and other loans, that will work against you. The credit card company wants to know that you are a worthwhile risk before they issue you a card.

As I mentioned above, other issues also come into play. If you have just started a new job, a creditor may want to wait a while to make sure that you keep it. These are other factors that will be considered if your credit history is less than perfect but not a total loss.


Clean up your credit history ASAP! This is the single best step you can take in improving your options when it comes to credit cards and other types of loans as well.

Most creditors are required to tell you why you were rejected and what credit bureau they used to access your report. You should be entitled to a free copy of your credit report if the data contained on it was used to deny your application. Check with the credit bureau to see.

If your credit rating is poor, take action immediately. Start paying your bills on time. Look into consolidating your bills so that you can afford to pay the monthly amount. Eliminate any extra spending that isn't necessary and use that "extra" towards your outstanding debts. Yes, this could take some time, but in the long run it will be well worth it.

Once you have cleaned up your credit a bit or established some basic credit, let some time pass. Apply for the card (or a better one) again. Once the creditor sees how hard you've been working to get your credit report up to par, you may just be rewarded for your efforts. Be careful, though. The last thing you want to do is go overboard with your new credit card and dig yourself into another financial hell-hole! So be wary.