There are a number of reasons to apply for a credit card, but there are also times an application gets denied by the lender. Most individuals would think an application denial is the end of it, but that is not always the case.
Credit card reconsideration allows individuals to overturn a credit application rejection. The information below will help you understand how this works.
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How Credit Card Reconsideration Works
The bottom line is that credit card issuers still have the final say in whether or not you are approved for a credit card — but you can make an attempt to have the original decision overturned.
Credit card reconsideration lines are made available by credit card issuers so that the applicants can provide reasoning as to why they deserve to be approved for the credit card.
The exact specifics of how credit card reconsideration functions vary between card issuers, but generally you call the phone number that is dedicated as a “reconsideration line” and ask for application reconsideration, then provide sufficient information to make your case.
Common Reasons for Credit Card Denial
There are a number of reasons as to why you can’t get approved for a credit card — some reasons include:
- You have taken on too much debt, or you have too many existing credit cards;
- You have bad credit;
- You do not have enough income;
- You have a recent charge-off, delinquency, or bankruptcy in your credit report;
- You have an excessive amount of recent credit inquiries;
- You do not have enough credit history;
- You do not have enough employment history;
- You left parts of your application blank, or you messed up when applying;
- You have errors on your credit report.
Tips for Credit Card Reconsideration
There are specific things that individuals looking to overturn a credit application rejection should take into consideration. Follow the steps below to help the likelihood of getting your credit card application reconsidered.
Most applications expire within 30 days of submitting them. You can call the card reconsideration line to check on any pending applications or rejected applications.
Gather Necessary Documents
There are some documents that you will want to have handy when making your call. You will want:
- Formal application denial letter: According to the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA), credit card applicants have a legal right to insight into why the application wasn’t approved. You will generally receive this information in the mail, but if you do not, be sure to reach out to gain this insight;
- Your credit score: Applicants want to be sure to have an idea of what their credit score is. There are a number of ways to get your free credit report;
- Your credit history: You’ll want to have a record of the lines of credit you’ve repaid in the past — especially if you have good payment history, low/paid-off balances, or no late payments.
Review Your Credit Reports
Be sure to review your credit report from the three primary credit bureaus to look for any possible errors that could be the reason why your application was rejected. If you find errors, be sure to dispute them and make note of this when speaking to the credit card company about reconsideration.
Come Up With a Reconsideration Angle
Just because you ask politely over a reconsideration line, doesn’t mean that they will overturn the original decision — you want to have an angle as to why they should approve you.
Since you know why your application was denied, that is a good place to start. Let’s say that you were denied because you weren’t making enough money when you applied, but you recently just got a job offer with more money. Explain this on the reconsideration line and be sure to bring proof of the job (e.g. offer letter).
When you are speaking to a representative on the reconsideration line, be sure to conduct yourself courteously. While simply being polite doesn’t improve your chances, being rude could reduce them.
You must be prepared to negotiate with the reconsideration line representative. There are a few things you can try — these include:
- If you have an outstanding balance, find out if you’re able to transfer the remaining balance onto the new card you’re applying for. It should be noted that a balance transfer may result in a higher annual percentage rate (APR);
- If you have multiple accounts, make sure that your accounts are open and in good standing — i.e. you have low credit utilization, good payment history, low balances. Offer to pay one of them off within a certain time period, especially if you have another account with the same company as the card you are applying for;
- If you have multiple credit cards, and you were denied because of it, offer to have their credit limits reduced.
Major Credit Card Reconsideration Lines
As mentioned above, you want to reach out sooner than later for credit card reconsideration lines. Below is a list of credit card reconsideration lines and the special number that takes you straight to the credit card reconsideration representative.
- American Express — 1(800) 567-1083;
- Bank of America — 1(866) 224-8555;
- Barclays — 1(866) 408-4064;
- Capital One — 1(800) 625-7866;
- Chase — 1(800) 945-2006;
- Citibank — 1(800) 695-5171;
- Discover — 1(800) 347-2683;
- U.S. Bank — 1(800) 947-1444;
- Wells Fargo — 1(800) 869-3557.
Alternatives to Credit Card Reconsideration
If you try to take advantage of credit card reconsideration and your application is still denied, there are additional options — some alternatives include:
- Upgrade an existing card instead of starting a new one. This can help you take advantage of favorable rewards offered by credit cards without actually applying for a new card;
- Take advantage of a credit repair company. There are a number of credit card repair companies that can help you find and dispute negative items on your credit report;
- If you have poor credit or no credit history, apply for a secure credit card to help establish your credit. Once you have established credit, reapply for a more opportune card;
- Simply wait it out. There are some cases where you have too many accounts, excessive debt, or you need to work on your credit. Take some time and pay off accounts, and build your credit.
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