3 Reasons Your Credit Card Applications Keep Getting Rejected

A man standing in his living room and holding a pile of mail in one hand while looking at a single envelope in the other hand.

Image source: Getty Images

Many or all of the products here are from our partners that compensate us. It’s how we make money. But our editorial integrity ensures our experts’ opinions aren’t influenced by compensation. Terms may apply to offers listed on this page.

Here's what to do if you keep signing up for credit cards and issuers keep saying no.

Key points

  • There are different reasons you may have a hard time getting a new credit card.
  • Boosting your credit score, credit history, and income could help increase your chances of success.

These days, there are a host of terrific credit card offers that come with perks like great rewards programs and sign-up bonuses. But what if you keep applying for new credit cards only to get rejected? It's certainly disheartening, and can keep you from enjoying the benefits that credit cards offer. That's why it's important to figure out the reason it keeps happening. Here are a few reasons why a credit card issuer might say no to your application.

1. Your credit score isn't high enough

Some credit card companies are more flexible than others when it comes to credit score requirements. To be clear, there are plenty of credit card offers available to applicants whose credit scores could use some work. But certain offers are only really applicable to consumers with great credit. If you want to open the door to more credit cards, you should look into boosting your credit score.

How can you do that? Paying your bills on time will help a lot, as your payment history carries more weight than any other factor when calculating your credit score. You can also raise your score by paying off some existing credit card debt and correcting errors on your credit report that may be working against you -- for example, past-due bills you've already settled.

2. You don't have a lengthy credit history

Some credit card issuers may be hesitant to approve applicants who don't have a robust credit history. Unfortunately, that's not something you can do much about. If you're in your early 20s and have only held down a job and had your own bills to pay for a year, then it stands to reason that you won't have the same lengthy credit history as someone in their early 30s.

Still, there are ways you can build credit quickly. One thing you can do is apply for a secured credit card. You can also ask to become an authorized user on a relative's credit card account. Once that happens, you can start benefiting from that person's strong payment history.

3. Your income isn't high enough

Different credit cards come with different income requirements. If you're new to the workforce and aren't earning a lot of money, or if you're only working part-time, you may have trouble qualifying for certain cards.

Boosting your earnings could open the door to getting approved for a card you really want. If you're working part-time, try increasing your hours so your wages will follow suit. And if you already work full-time, you may want to consider getting a side hustle. The earnings from your second job will count toward your total income for credit card approval purposes.

Having your credit card applications rejected can be a harsh blow. If that's been happening to you, try working on the above items and seeing if things change for the better. You can also research different credit cards and see what credit score requirements come with them. That could spare you the hassle of applying for offers you're unlikely to qualify for and help you focus your efforts on the cards you have a greater chance of getting approved for.

Alert: highest cash back card we've seen now has 0% intro APR until 2024

If you're using the wrong credit or debit card, it could be costing you serious money. Our experts love this top pick, which features a 0% intro APR until 2024, an insane cash back rate of up to 5%, and all somehow for no annual fee. 

In fact, this card is so good that our experts even use it personally. Click here to read our full review for free and apply in just 2 minutes. 

Read our free review

Our Research Expert