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

What to do if your credit card application is turned down

We take a lot of factors into consideration when assessing your eligibility for credit. If you’ve been declined for a credit card, the first thing you need to do is read the letter you’ve been sent, as this may give you some details on why your application hasn’t been successful.

To give you an idea of some of the reasons why this might have happened, here are some of the most common reasons customers get declined for a credit:

  • you’ve made lots of late payments on other credit products such as utility bills, mortgages or phone bills
  • you’ve exceeded your credit limit in the past
  • you’ve defaulted on a previous credit agreement by missing payments, this includes loans, credit cards, mobile phone bill and utility bills
  • you’ve been declared bankrupt or have County Court Judgments (CCJs) that you haven’t settled

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.