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When Your Credit Card Application Has Been Rejected

Aug 17, 2007
It happens to many of us. You apply for a credit card, only to be told that you can't have one. Your credit score just isn't good enough.

Now what?

If your credit is good enough that it shouldn't have been rejected, you may want to consider the possibility of human error. Did you fill the form out correctly and completely? Legibly? Could you have miswritten any of the information required to make a good decision about offering you credit?

What about your credit report? How long has it been since you checked that? Since you can get one free annually, there's no good excuse to not be checking on that regularly. You won't always be aware right away when your identity has been stolen, and the inability to get credit you should have qualified for might just be your first indication.

On the other hand, maybe you just don't have the credit score for the card. That doesn't mean you're doomed to spend life without one; it just means that the particular card wasn't the one for you. You may have to reassess the kind of credit card you want to try for.

If this is the case, you definitely want to improve your credit score. You need to think about the factors that may have caused your score to be low.

A common reason is that you have been missing payments or making them late. This doesn't have to just be on your credit cards - any place that you make payments to can report to the credit bureaus. The phone company, for example. The electric company. Even your landlord.

If you're behind on anything, get caught up. If they're reporting to the bureaus, this should help your credit score.

Another possibility is that you have just too much credit extended for your income level. Credit card companies won't be willing to extend you additional credit if you are overusing your ability to get credit already. This means you need to pay down any high balances you may have.

However, you do not necessarily want to cancel excess accounts. Cancelling them can mean they will drop from your credit report, and if you drop too much, your score itself may drop. A part of your score hinges on your ability to have credit that you aren't using.

Wise use of your credit should make it relatively easy to get credit cards when you need them. But failing to keep up with payments and not keeping track of what your credit report shows can quickly mess you up.
About the Author
Stephanie Foster blogs at http://credit-blog.findcreditonline.com/ on issues relating to credit. Her site also offers a variety of low rate credit cards .
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