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Credit Q&A: Why Can’T I Get Approved For A Credit Card?

approved for a credit card

Why can’t you get approved for a credit card? Because you don’t qualify! Most likely, either your credit score is too low or you don’t make enough money to convince the lender that you will be able to repay the debt. Here are some steps you can take to figure out what the problem is and how to fix it.

Read the letter you get from the lender. Whenever you are turned down for credit, you’ll get a letter from the lender stating the reason for the denial of credit. Sometimes it is a really vague statement saying something along the lines of “information contained in your credit report.” That’s not really helpful. Other times, you’ll get something more specific, such as not having enough lines of credit established. Read the letter and see if it provides any useful information. If it does, act on it.

Get a copy of your credit report. In addition to the free credit report you are entitled to get from each of the three major credit bureaus annually, you can request a free copy every time you are denied credit based on information in your report. The letter will provide the name and address of the agency that provided your credit report. You need to request the report within 60 days after your credit was denied.

Check for negative items. Once you get your credit report, check for negative items. If there are any negative items that are incorrect, dispute them. The credit agency will have to contact your creditor for proof that the information is accurate in order to keep it on your credit report.

Determine whether you have enough existing credit. If you don’t have any negative items but your score is still low, it may be because you don’t have enough credit lines open. If that’s your problem, the easiest way to establish credit is to get a secured credit card. You’ll have to deposit the amount of your credit limit, so it’s like you’re borrowing your own money, but after you pay the payments on time for a few months, you should be able to get an unsecured credit card, provided your income is high enough and you keep paying everything else on time too.

Evaluate your income. Take an honest look at your current debts and income. Do you make enough money to realistically fit another monthly payment into your budget? Most lenders use formulas to estimate the amount you can afford to pay each month on debts. If your income isn’t high enough to convince the lender that you can pay the payments, you won’t be able to get approved for a credit card.

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