Have you really had no lates since that collection 5 years ago? I am a little surprised that your scores are not a touch higher then.
If so, the good news is you are in a spot where you can tweak soemthing and try again, pain free: Go AZEO sub 9% and see if that nabs you a few more TU points. Then apply again. For science.
I have a theory that GS' UW for this card specifically does not like "mediocre scores with even old charge offs or collections present". I am not stating this as fact, but tracking approvals and denials, it sems like folks with thick files, scores in the high 600s, AND a serious deliquency have a rough approval rating. Either removing the delinquency (unlikley) OR raising that score to low 700s might do the trick.
FTR, I have tried for approval three times now - no luck, and I am not surprised as I meet the description above, Thick file, mediocre score, bad old deliquency.
US Bank Cash+: $0/$1000
Discover Cash Back: $203/$1000
Target Red Card: $37/$800
Discover Cash Back: $426/$4000
Cap1 QS: $0/$700
I understand the collection itself may be an issue, but I wouldn't classify 5 years as "recent." I have three open auto loans currently, one of which is paid off, but hasn't reported yet.
As long as it's on your credit report, it's recent. 7 years seems like a long time to us but to banks, it's not a long time at all. Credit reports drop items after they are no longer considered to make a difference in your likelihood of default. That's when banks stop caring too.
I applied and was rejected when my TU was 640 and experion 630 ish but I had a 5 year old $250 collection. I called and settled the debt for deletion for $200, and I applied as soon as it dropped and got a $2500 limit with the higher APR. having the collection deleted made the difference.