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Card Application declined! Why?

New Visitor

Card Application declined! Why?

Hi everybody, new to the forum (and the credit scene in general), and trying to make sense of why I got declined for 2 cards I applied for.


I'm 23 years old and carrying ~100K in student loan debt, but have never missed a payment or a due date. I have a Macy's Visa card that I got a few years back for the in-store discount, but have never used the Visa aspect of it until last week when I activated it and filled the tank in the car. I got one of those free credit reports online that said I had 10 credit accounts, all in good standing, but I didn't get a number score. I did, however, use the myFICO estimator, and it placed my score somewhere in the 705-755 range.


I applied for two cards a few days ago and both were declined, for seemingly opposite reasons. The first was given as "no revolving account with a balance", but I can't see why not having an outstanding balance is a bad thing (I was always under the impression that credit cards weren't to be used for things you couldn't pay for). The second was declined because my "ratio of balance to credit line is too high", which seems contradictory to the first reason which stated I had no balance. If it makes a difference, the first card was a CitiBank card, the second a Discover.


Sorry if these are elementary questions, but I find the credit landscape to be a massive headache and that's precisely why, until now, I've gone by the cash-and-debit approach to buying things. If anyone could shed some light on what the problem might be, I'd really appreciate it. Thanks!

Message 1 of 3
Regular Contributor

Re: Card Application declined! Why?

Seems like the first no balance problem is because you haven't shown a balance on your credit card, which over a long time can supposedly demonstrate inactivity.


The second seems like they are look at your total credit, which I'm guessing if you're fresh out of school looks somewhere like 99,000/100,000 in credit used which is why you were declined.

Message 2 of 3
Moderator Emerita

Re: Card Application declined! Why?

Hi nofxs210 & welcome aboard! Smiley Happy


Can you give us more information on what cards, specifically, you applied for?


Lending criteria varies amongst lenders, but also amongst products (even with the same lender). Some products may not be available to you now, while others are. I wouldn't put a whole lot of stock into the decline reasons... sometimes they're accurate enough, but most of the times they seemingly come out of left field. Based on what you wrote, it sounds like your Macy's card was inactive, as the previous poster mentioned, and your *revolving* credit experience is extremely limited. You may need to focus on credit products that are for young/limited/emerging *good* credit situations, and build from there. Another great option is to go through a credit union. You're far more likely to get a good card, with a good limit that will set the bar for future revolving products that you might become interested in.


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