Credit Card Application Rejected? Here’s What To Do Next

Written By Mary Beth Eastman
Last updated May 20, 2019

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May 20, 2019

Simple. Thrifty. Living.


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There are entire libraries written about what credit cards are best. But what happens when your application gets rejected? It’s not a good feeling, but finances are about a lot more than just feelings. What’s the next step? Is it best to stick around with that same card provider and try again later?

If you’re looking for information on what to do in the event of a rejection, this guide is for you.

In the event of a rejection, the world doesn’t end. Your credit score is not adversely affected by a failed application. It might sting a bit, but that’s about the end of it.

Now, your credit score may drop a point or two because of the initial application. Applying for a card (regardless of the outcome) dings your score just a tad. Seeking out new lines of credit tends to do this, but there’s nothing to worry about. These “hard inquiries” on your credit history fall off in about six months. A point or two is no big deal.

Credit card applications are virtually all automatic at this point, but there’s always a way to get a human involved. Consider calling the card provider’s support department and poking around for the “Reconsideration Line.” Making your case to a human agent may result in a different judgment.

Appeals are most potent in the event you made a mistake on your application (incorrect income, for example).

Always, always check your credit report in the event of a rejection. You’d be surprised how often credit agencies report incorrect information. It’s absolutely vital that you regularly check your credit report to ensure that no errors persist. An unknown or mistaken account in collections, for example, can be especially damning to someone looking for a premium rewards credit card.

If you find an error on your credit report, dispute the errors with the credit bureaus.

While getting rejected for a credit card may sting, remember that it’s an automated process. It’s not a statement to your personal character! Your credit score is not affected by rejection. In fact, you may want to tailor your application to your credit score. We’ve made a list of the best credit cards for your credit score.

Consider appealing the decision, review your application for mistakes, and always check your credit report for any discrepancies.

About the Author

Mary Beth Eastman

Mary Beth Eastman serves as the content manager for Simple. Thrifty. Living, where she is dedicated to helping readers use money and credit wisely. Mary Beth believes that access to the right financial information paired with a growth mindset are essential tools for getting out of debt and building wealth. Mary Beth has a degree in Journalism from Bowling Green State University and has focused her 20-year journalism career on putting readers front and center, carefully considering their concerns and presenting information that will help them in their everyday lives. She has won numerous statewide journalism awards. Her writing on personal finance as been featured on numerous websites in addition to Simple. Thrifty. Living, including Huffington Post and Lexington Law blog. Mary Beth resides in Pittsburgh, Pa., with her family and two rescue dogs.

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