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What to Do If Your Application Gets Declined

If your credit card application is denied, know that being denied simply means you were not a good match for the particular credit card you were applying for at that moment in time. Your main course of action is to understand why you were denied.

Understand Why You Were Denied

Within a week or two, the credit card provider that you applied to will send you an adverse action notice explaining why your application was denied. Your application may be denied for various reasons. For many students, it is because you do not have a previous credit history or  possess an existing credit history that is in bad standing. In some cases, you may have not provided adequate documentations to help establish your eligibility, identity, stability of identity, and ability to pay. In addition, if you have started your application but have not finished it within 30 days, banks are required by law to issue a decision on your application, including denying it because it is incomplete.

If you are denied because of information related to your credit history, you can request a free credit report from the credit bureau that your credit card provider used to check your credit history. You will want to use this credit report to double check if any negative claims on your credit card application are true. If they are not, you can dispute these claims. Once these disputes are resolved, you can then re-apply.


Remember that you can always re-apply once you have assessed the reasons why you were originally denied and have fixed those problems. With patience and adequate preparation, you will get your first credit card. When that time comes, it is important for you to understand how to manage and pay for your credit card.

In the next lesson, learn How to Read a Credit Card Statement.


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