If you applied for a credit card but your application was declined, don’t be discouraged. You can’t magically change that application from denied to approved, but how you move forward is important. Learn how to improve your creditworthiness before you apply again.
Determine Why Your Application Was Denied
If your credit card application is denied, you’ll receive an adverse action notice. Review this notice carefully for the reasons your application was denied. Common reasons for denial include lack of sufficient income, too many late payments and high balances on existing credit cards.
Make Sure Your Credit Report Is Accurate
If your application was denied due to information in your credit report, you have 60 days to request a free copy of the report that was used in the decision-making process. Read through it carefully to make sure you understand and agree with all of the information being reported. It’s a good idea to keep tabs on your credit and, in particular, your credit score, which is contained within your credit report. This is because your credit score may factor into the rates you pay to borrow money, whether you can rent an apartment and more. Monitoring your credit report can also help you detect fraud, identity theft and other problems that may adversely affect your credit score. You’re entitled to a free copy of your credit report once every 12 months from each of the three major credit reporting agencies (CRA): Equifax, Experian and TransUnion.
Fix Errors and Address Problems
If you find any errors in your credit report, you can dispute them in writing with the CRA. According to a report by the Federal Trade Commission, one in five consumers had an error on at least one of their three credit reports that was corrected by a CRA after it was disputed. Review the information on the credit card application to determine if you made any mistakes on the income or expenses you listed. If you have any outstanding debts that are in collections, try to pay them off as quickly as possible.
Get Help If You Need It
If you need help getting your finances in order, a personal finance counselor with Navy Federal Credit Union may be able to help. Counselors are available at select branches, or you can speak with someone over the phone—and the service is free.
Get a Secured Card
If you’re a first-time borrower or have less than stellar credit, a secured credit card from Navy Federal may be the answer. Secured cards require a security deposit equal to the amount of your credit limit, and they can help you build or improve your credit history.
As you develop smart money habits, like consistently making on-time payments and checking the accuracy of your credit report, you’ll be on track for approval on a traditional credit card.