Denied a Credit Card? How Long You Should Wait to Apply Again

Denied Credit Card Wondering Long Wait Apply
Mike Randall
By: Mike Randall
Updated: June 11, 2020
Advertiser Disclosure

If you’ve recently been turned down on a credit card application, you may be feeling a little hopeless — and you’re likely wondering how long you should wait to apply again for another credit card.

The reason for your denial could depend on many factors.

The truth is credit card companies depend on a lot of variables when it comes to making their card approval decisions, and those variables aren’t always made clear for consumers. There are certain issues that have more to do with the calendar than with your actual credit history.

So how long should you wait before reapplying?

Most Issuers Say 6 Months

While most credit card companies and credit advisers recommend a six-month period before reapplying, this is an arbitrary number. In fact, many companies offer credit cards for people with bad credit, such as these popular options:

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What really matters when reapplying may come down to a few simple questions, and knowing why you were denied in the first place.

5 Possible Reasons for Denial

Here are a few reasons one could possibly be denied:

  1. Too many recent hard inquiries
  2. Credit score too low
  3. Utilization too high
  4. Credit history too recent
  5. Delinquencies in the recent past

If you’ve been denied for any of these reasons or others, there are a few things for you to consider. The first step to determining what may have affected your approval chances is to check your credit reports from the three major credit bureaus. This can be done for free once a year through

Depending on your specific situation, you may have to wait a few weeks or a few months. Of course, this can be challenging if you need access to a line of credit quickly. But in the long run, the best thing you can do is wait until the time is right. In the meantime, here are some things you can do to improve your odds of getting approved.

Tip #1:

If you’ve recently applied for a lot of cards or had inquiries due to a mortgage or other loan application process, this may have impacted your credit card application.

In this case, wait for up to three months before reapplying. By this time, the hard inquiries would have faded from your credit report.

“There is no sense in waiting without

taking matters into your own hands.”

Tip #2:

If you were denied a credit card due to your credit score being too low, there are things you can do to improve your score.

Apps such as Credit Karma show you your credit score for free with recommendations for how to improve it.

Tip #3:

The credit reporting agencies use your credit utilization ratio to determine your creditworthiness.

If your ratio is too high, try consolidating some of your balances onto other higher balance cards. You can also try to quickly pay down some of your balances to lower your utilization ratio.

Tip #4:

If your credit history is too recent, the credit reporting agencies may not give you a high enough score to qualify you for the card you want.

However, waiting for six months may not be necessary. Try contacting the customer service branch of the card company and asking what their policy is on credit history.

Tip #5:

If you’ve had delinquencies in the recent past, such as a bankruptcy or foreclosure, you should make an effort to address them within your credit report. Major delinquencies can take several years to fall off of your credit report, but showing improved financial behavior can increase your chances of being approved.

Additionally, everyone is allowed to insert a letter of explanation into their credit report, which is then sent to any potential creditor upon request of the report. A letter of explanation may make a difference in extenuating circumstances.

Final Advice

Using these methods could get you approved for a credit card faster than you might think. There is no sense in waiting for six months without taking matters into your own hands.

Follow these tips to do what your situation dictates, and you may find yourself with that coveted card in no time.

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