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When a computer says no, sometimes a human being says yes.

2 minute read

Whether you’re asking someone on a date or applying for a credit card, rejection stinks. But when it comes to credit card applications, you shouldn’t take it personally. The reality is that some computer at some bank took a glance at some data in your credit file and made a snap decision.

Thankfully, there are humans who work for these banks, and they have the power to overrule those computers.

How to change a no to a yes

Once you receive notice that an application has been rejected you can proceed to step two of the application process. Step two requires that you call the credit card issuers and speak to their new applications department.

Once connected to the right person, you may quickly be approved once your information is looked at by a human. In other instances, you might wish to offer additional information that was not supplied on your application. For example, you may inform them of sources of income that you had omitted. Remind the card issuer how long you have been a customer, and that you’ve had an excellent payment history.

If you currently have another credit card account with that card issuer, then you could ask to have part of its credit line transferred to your new account. In this way, the card issuer is not increasing its exposure to you. It is simply dividing it between an existing account and the new one that you applied for.

Finally, if you really want this new card, you can ask to have another account closed just to be approved. I might do this when I am offered an especially generous sign-up bonus, and I am desperate to be approved. And finally, since this reconsideration process is subjective, it can actually make a difference if you call back and speak with another representative.

If you are still unsuccessful, take a look at the rejection letter you received. Card issuers are required by law to inform you of the reasons for your rejection. They can range from a poor payment history to simply having applied for too many new lines of credit recently. These reasons are a great place to start in your efforts to improve your credit history so that you are more successful in the future.

Other ways to improve your chances of approval

One of the easiest things to do to improve your chances of approval is to pay down your existing balances. Even if you are avoiding interest by paying off all of your statement balances in full, it may surprise you to learn that your balance is still considered debt on your credit report. So in this case, it’s in your interest to pay off your balance even before your statement cycle closes. Once it does close, then that “debt” will be eliminated from your credit report.

And if you already have significant balances with the same card issuer as the product you applied for, paying off those balances will immediately help you chances of being approved, as the institution will not feel that they have any current exposure to debt from you. In fact, you can even do this after your initial rejection to help your chances of approval during the reconsideration process.

Bottom line

Getting approved or rejected for a credit card is not an issue that is out of your control. By using a few of these tricks, you can maximize your chances of getting approved for the credit cards you want. If only dating were as simple.

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About the Author

Jason Steele

Jason Steele

I'm one of the country's leading experts on credit cards and have been regularly syndicated by mainstream outlets such as MSN Money and Yahoo! Finance. I live in Denver, Colorado with my wife and two daughters, and we love to travel. We often fly first-class, not because I'm rich, but because I know how to acquire credit card miles in the most efficient way. Keep reading, and I'll teach you, too.

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