Your application for a credit card has been declined. What to do next

Why might I not be eligible for a credit card?

When you apply for a credit card, we carry out some checks to make sure you can afford to repay any money you might borrow – we call this your 'affordability'. Those checks include confirming your income and working out your regular spending. Then we calculate how much money you're likely to have left over to put towards monthly repayments on your card. We do this using the details you provide on your application form, along with information we get from credit reference agencies. We also look at a number of other things when considering whether you're eligible for credit.

Here are some of the most common reasons people are declined for credit.

  • You’ve recently missed payments or made late payments on other types of credit, such as credit cards, loans, car finance, utility bills, phone bills or mortgages
  • You’ve gone over your credit limit in the past
  • You’ve broken the terms of a credit agreement by missing payments – this could be for loans, credit cards, mobile phone bills and utility bills
  • You’ve been declared bankrupt or have County Court Judgments (CCJs) that you haven’t settled
  • We haven’t been able to confirm the income you entered in your application, or we think your income is unstable
  • It looks like your income and spending wouldn't leave you with enough disposable income to cover the monthly repayments for money you borrow on the card
  • You have a large, and possibly unused, overdraft
  • You have a joint Barclays mortgage, but pay less towards the monthly mortgage payment than the other person
  • You already have significant levels of debt on other credit cards, loans or car finance
  • We couldn't match your details with those held by credit reference agencies, or with our own records
  • You already have a Barclaycard account, or closed one in the past six months

Should I apply again?

When you apply for a credit card the lender checks your credit file, which leaves a hard footprint on your credit report. More than a couple of these footprints could lower your credit rating and make lenders extra cautious about offering you credit. So if you’ve been denied credit, don’t keep reapplying. You’ll need to wait at least three months before you apply again.

Before you apply again in the future, there are a few things you can do.

  • It’s important that you check you meet the lenders criteria – take a look at our criteria to see if you're eligible before you apply
  • Try our eligibility checker and see how likely you are to be accepted without affecting your credit rating
  • Request a copy of your credit report from Experian  or Equifax  and make sure all the information is correct

If your application has been refused, take a look at our page on how to improve your credit rating.