If you've applied for a credit card before and got rejected, there are a number of possible reasons why this rejection happened. It’s time to prep yourself with these 10 tips so that you can get approved for your next credit card application easily.
You may have been affected by the Covid-19 pandemic and are in need of some cash flexibility the moment. Getting a credit card may be one of the strategies you have in mind to help you weather through this financial storm.
On the other hand, you could just be looking for another credit card to complement your spending style. Credit cards, after all, do come with plenty of benefits to help you get more value for your money.
Whatever the reason is, you may have landed on this page because you’ve recently had your credit card application rejected, and are puzzled as to why this has happened to you. While you can always call the bank up to check, there are times where you’re left with vague answers that don’t quite explain much.
To help you improve your chances of getting your next credit card approved, we’ll look into some of the reasons why your credit application got rejected and some potential solutions to help you out.
10 Tips On How To Get Approved For Your Next Credit Card Application
1. Wait before you apply for another card
Why does your credit card application keep getting rejected one after another? It’s possible that your credit card application got rejected because you had recently applied for another card in a short period of time.
You may ask - does credit card application rejection affect your credit score? Not really, but banks looking at your credit report may be able to see that you’ve applied for financial help elsewhere recently. This may influence their decision-making process.
“Why is this person trying to borrow money here and there?"
"It hasn’t even been a week and this person is trying to apply for another card?"
Applying in a flurry will just make you look less creditworthy. If you get rejected, give your credit card application a break - think about six months at least - before trying to apply for another card. Applying when your records are cleared up can increase your chances of getting it approved.
2. Wait till your credit score improves first
There’s a very high chance that you were rejected because of an unhealthy credit score. Having a low credit score is a red flag on your end, as one of the very first things banks do is to check your credit score before deciding whether to help you out or not.
Your credit score is, very simply, a number between 300-850 which represents your creditworthiness and how likely you are to repay debt. These are the three most important digits of your life. The higher the score, the higher your chances of getting financing requests approved. There are a few ways to improve your credit score, which we’ll cover in the following points.
Read also: Ultimate Guide To Credit Scores
3. Pay your bills consistently for at least 6 months
One of the ways you bring down your credit score is by being inconsistent and late with your payments. This isn’t just about credit card bills - this includes ALL kinds of bills, like your utilities, internet, and phone bills. While we don’t exactly have the complete, exhaustive list of bills that would affect your credit score, just play it safe and pay all your monthly bills as soon as you get them.
Repay your financial commitments for at least six months (the longer the better, of course), and apply for your credit card again. Regardless, even if you’re not applying for any financial help, you should still make your bill payments on time. Try to find ways to automate your payments so that you’ll never be late again.
This also applies to your monthly loan instalments - it could be your hire purchase or your mortgage, or that personal loan you took out a couple months ago. Don’t miss a single payment, and you’ll eventually start to see your credit score improving.
4. Settle your current credit card debt first
If you have too many credit cards that are maxed out, it would be obvious that banks wouldn't want to lend you any more money. It’s almost guaranteed that you would have your credit card application rejected.
We read from The Balance that keeping your credit usage to 30% of your total credit limit would be best for your credit score, so work towards paying off your current balance first before you apply for a new credit card.
5. Lower your debt-to-income ratio
Ever heard of the saying, don’t bite off more than you can chew? In this case, don’t borrow more than you can repay. This applies to debt of every fashion, including but not limited to your car loan, personal loan, and mortgage.
Financial institutions will look at your income and total current monthly debt before saying yes or no to you. Higher ratios will make you look risky as you may not be able to afford paying off your credit.
6. Find a more suitable card for your credentials
If you were turned down for applying for a high end credit card, you may have to first look at whether your credentials (e.g. annual income) meet the bank’s minimum requirements.
There’s a chance that you could’ve also maxed out the number of credit cards that you can apply. In 2011, Bank Negara introduced a guideline which states that those with an annual income of RM36,00 or less (RM3,000 monthly) can only hold credit cards from a maximum of 2 issuers.
It’s also important that you apply for a card that is suitable for you. When you get rejected, it’ll be reflected in your credit score history, and may lead to further turndowns even if you do fit the bill in your next credit card application.
Start with browsing the different types of credit cards that suit your preferences first (cashback, rewards, Islamic, etc.), and then narrow down to the requirements according to what you can meet. Easily browse and compare them here.
Read also: Quiz: What’s Your Credit Card Type?
7. Try applying from a bank with your savings account
As banks want to always see your credit history first, it would be a good idea to try getting a credit card from the existing bank where you have your savings/current account. Keep a good amount of money there, and maintain the account for a few months to a few years. It will make it easier for the bank to trust you when you come to them for financing help.
8. Preempt your HR about your application
We’ve also heard of cases where applicants get their applications denied simply because their company’s HR did not pick up the calls from the bank. These calls are usually made to verify the applicant’s employment status as it’s very common for people to lie in their applications. EPF statements are easy to tamper with when you have basic Photoshop skills.
In these cases, it would be a good idea to preempt your HR department about your plan to apply for a credit card. Don’t be shy to seek their help - chances are, you will not be the first one to do so.
9. Try a non-bank financing institution
If you’re finding it hard to get a bank to lend you a card, try your hand at a non-bank financing institution. While we don’t exactly have hard facts to back this up, we’ve read stories of applicants who have managed to easily attain a credit card from a non-bank institution.
10. Work for a longer period of time
When it comes to any form of financing, banks will always have a requirement to lend to people with stable monthly incomes. If you’ve just started your new job, try to work for a little bit longer before you apply.
Although the standard requirement to show proof of income is a 3-months payslip, there may be times when banks would want to see more than that, like your EPF statement. Banks love consistency, so keep this up and they will be more likely to say yes to you.
On that note, when sending in your application, make sure that each detail included is filled correctly. Make sure you have all the required documents attached, especially your payslips.
Banks typically want your latest 3-months’ payslips, so if by any chance you skipped one month because you accidentally threw it out, you’re almost guaranteed to have your application rejected. In cases like this, ask your HR department to reprint your latest payslip to help you out.
Credit cards are a huge responsibility
At the end of the day, if you get rejected, most times it’s because banks see you as a risky borrower. Credit cards are a huge responsibility, and it’s easy to fall into debt if you don’t manage your cards wisely. If you ever fall into debt, it will be a long and arduous process to get out of it.
If you do get your application approved, it’s on you to maintain your card with good money management practices. You can always start with these key tips:
- Pay your credit card bills on time. Avoid hefty 15% charged interest rates on your outstanding balances which can snowball in no time.
- Make a budget for your credit card spending. Don’t succumb to buying above your repaying capabilities.
- Be aware of your outstanding debt. Always check your statements to keep track of your spending and to spot any errors.
- Keep your credit utilisation to a minimum. Try to keep your utilisation limit to 30% to always be in the safe zone.
- Be financially literate. Don’t wait to learn from your own mistakes - learn from others by reading up on best practices and apply them in your life.