7 Credit Card Application Tips for the Best Chance of Approval

By Jason Steele. Last updated 4 May 2017. 0 comments

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Nobody likes being rejected, but there is something about having a credit card application turned down that can really sting. When your credit report is being examined, it can seem like your entire life is under scrutiny, and you don't even get to look the judge in the eye to show them you are worthy of being approved.

Fortunately, there are some steps that you can take to have the best chance of being approved when you apply for a credit card.

1. State all of your available sources of income

One of the most important factors on your credit card application is your income, but most people are not aware of the forms of income that they can include. Besides your income from a job, you can include money you receive from investments, government benefits, alimony, and child support. In addition, card issuers are allowed to consider the applicant's household income, including any income of your spouse or domestic partner that you have access to.

2. Pay down balances on cards from that issuer

Before submitting an application, try to pay off any balances you have with that card issuer. For example, if you are applying for an additional credit card from an issuer you already have a credit card with, pay off you balance on that card. Doing so will further establish that you are not a credit risk, increasing your chances of approval.

3. Pay down other debts

In addition to paying off any balance that you have with the card issuer you are submitting the application to, you can also pay off any balances with other card issuers, or other creditors. These other debts will appear on your credit report and will affect your credit worthiness.

4. Pay down balances before your statement cycle closes

Few people realize that your credit card's statement balance is reported to the credit bureaus as debt, even if you ultimately avoid interest charges by paying off each balance in full. If you are using your credit cards heavily and applying for a new card, you should actually pay off your entire statement balance before your statement cycle closes, so that your statement has little, if any balance.

5. Wait until your statement cycle closes

It does no good to pay off debts with other creditors if the payments are not reflected on your credit report. In most cases, credit card issuers and other creditors will only report your new balance to the major consumer credit bureaus once a month, a few days after your statement cycle closes. So once you have paid off any outstanding balances, and your credit cards have completed the next statement cycle, this is the best time to apply for a new card.

6. Make a reconsideration call

What if you have stated all of your income, paid down all your balances, and applied after it has been reflected on your credit report, yet your application is still rejected? Try making a reconsideration call. It turns out that most credit card issuers trust their computer systems to initially approve or reject your application, but they also empower their telephone representatives to overturn those decisions. Contact your credit card issuer and ask why your application was rejected. You can also volunteer to reallocate a portion of your credit from an existing account, so that the card issuer is not increasing its exposure to default. (See also: Why Your Credit Card Application Was Denied and What You Can Do About It)

7. Apply again

Once you know why your credit card application was declined, you can take steps to correct the problem and reapply. For example, you can further decrease the amount of debt you have, fix errors in your credit report, or just continue to lengthen your record of on-time payments. The point is that a rejected application is just a judgment of your credit at a particular time, and you can improve your credit quite quickly if you try.

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