We just recently went through a round of credit card applications and while some were instantly approved, that wasn’t the case for all of them. While in the end we weren’t denied for any cards here’s what you can do if you’re not instantly approved, and possibly denied:
1. Don’t wait the week to 10 days to find out if you were approved
If you don’t receive an instant approval, you can typically call immediately after to find out why it wasn’t approved. Call the application or customer service line with the creditor with whom you’ve applied for the line of credit. It is entirely possible that a piece of information was typed incorrectly or something simply needs to be verified.
If after that brief discussion you’re approved confirm the minimum spend requirements for your bonus. Amount and time in which is needs to be met; document it!
If you cannot receive approval over the phone or were outright denied, don’t quit quite yet; you still have a chance to get the card … you just need to act and contact the reconsideration department. These folks can handle pending or denied applications in an effort to reach approval. The creditor wants to approve you; they just need to make sure they manage their risk properly.
2. Find out why you were not approved
Creditors want to approve you. They want good customers. However, for one reason or another you might not meet their current requirements. That’s not to say that there isn’t something you can do to meet those requirements.
3. Attempt to review your application on the spot
Here is where you good credit and being responsible pays off. First and foremost address the concern as to why you were not approved, and then address all of the standard things that are key to be approved. Creditors care about loyalty, credit score, payment history, and income.
- I have been a customer with XXX for X years. OR I haven’t been a customer with you previously however I have heard lots of great things about X or Y and would really like the opportunity to be your customer.
- I have made all of my payments in the past 6 years and have never been late or missed a credit card or loan payment
- All of my credit scores are above 750
- I make $XXX per year (should be exactly what you put on your application)
Never, under any circumstances lose your cool, get frustrated or combative. It won’t work; be nice.
4. Ask if there is anything you can do to be approved for the card in question
Let the agent you’re speaking with address their concerns, and then try to move the ball forward. If you meet all of their requirements but perhaps have too much credit with them already or have too many cards, suggest shifting your available credit or closing an account to be approved for this new one. Make suggestions, if they’re acceptable you’ll move closer to approval. If you’re not sure what to suggest, simply ask them to suggest something and indicate your committed desire to use this card due to X and Y and Z. Perhaps a special affiliate program, or the ability to earn hotel points AND airline miles.
5. Be thankful and courteous
While agents can help you get approved, they only have certain boundaries they can work with. Just as the computer that can approve you on the spot when filling out the application through your web browser, the agents we speak to have guild-lines that they can work through. Thankfully, they’re broader than what the computer can do on its own.
If you’re approved, fantastic! You win and the creditor wins.
If you’re not approved, thank the rep and move on.
6. Call back after a week
This one isn’t for the faint of heart. You have to have a little chutzpah to do this one. Most likely your entire conversation has been documented and attached to your application. But just because one agent won’t approve you, doesn’t mean another will do the same … If mom says no, should you ask dad?
Tread lightly here, because this can backfire if you don’t do it correctly. You’ll have the same conversation as you did with the previous agent. If you’re constantly being not approved for applications then this is likely a sign that your credit / credit file isn’t solid enough to support the applications your making. You should stop and review your status … email Rick if you have any questions, he said he’s glad to help.
7. Monitor your credit
If you’ve gotten here; you haven’t been approved and we need to work on building up your credit score. Use the resources we have on your blog, and don’t hesitate to email rick with questions and advice on the right way to handle things. Read the series Rick did on December 20, December 21, December 22, 2010; they give good advice on how to build scores and thicken credit files. CreditSesame, CreditKarma, and Quizzle (all free) will help you monitor your scores and AnnualCreditReport.com will give you your free credit report.
Deal of the Day
For today’s Deal of the Day TopCashback is donating $50 cash (to be deposited to your TopCashback.com account) for the best overall travel deal submitted. A great mileage run, mistake fare, partner promo, new card sign-up offer, or the special twist you figured out on a deal today. Add it to the comments section of this post (along with your First Name, Last Initial, and Airport Code) or this afternoon’s Deal of the Day post to be eligible to win.