OnPath Credit Union

Top 5 Reasons You Could Be Turned Down for a Credit Card


  1. Too Much Debt

If you’re carrying a lot of existing debt, some credit card companies might turn you down. More specifically, credit card issuers frequently look to see if you have more debt than credit availability. If you have multiple cards that, combined, have a credit limit of $30,000 and you have $45,000 of credit debt, creditors will be warry.

The best way to avoid being denied due to excessive credit card debt is to keep your credit use ratio low and regularly pay off your cards each month.

  1. Your Credit Score Is Too Low for the Card

There are credit card solutions for people with all types of credit history, including cards specifically designed for people with less-than-perfect credit. “Secured Credit Cards” are frequently used by people who need to improve their credit or are recovering from bankruptcy.

Having bad credit doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t get any credit card, but you may not be eligible to enroll in some credit card programs.

Young people with limited credit history or no credit history can experience similar problems. A limited credit history makes you a potential risk, but it’s generally not as disadvantageous as having bad credit.

  1. You Don’t Have Steady, Consistent Income

People in Louisiana make their money in many different ways. Not everyone is paid a salary or regular checks from their employer. If you freelance or are a contractor, your income may come in periodic lumps, and it may look to lenders or creditors like you don’t have a reliable source of income.

This can be problematic when applying for credit cards, especially credit cards intended for people with good or excellent credit.

Although credit card companies aren’t opposed to people carrying a balance on their credits cards–that’s ultimately how they make so much money–they don’t want borrowers who will default. An unstable income that would make the credit line they provide you unsustainable will likely result in either credit card denial or approval for a lower credit line. 

  1. Too Many Credit Cards or Hard Inquiries

Both factors are indicative of a borrower who might be overly relying on credit cards, which suggests they may not have the income or resources to pay their debts. A single hard credit pull doesn’t do drastic damage to your credit score, but multiple pulls in quick succession can be a warning sign of a borrower who is desperate to find new lines of credit to finance their growing debt burden.

Having too many credit cards sends a similar message. A person who needs to open new credit cards because they’ve maxed their credit limits on other cards is a high default risk.

Both warnings signs may be interpreted by lenders as risky, unsustainable behavior.

  1. You’ve Recently Missed Payments

Missing payments on credit cards or other loans doesn’t happen in a bubble. Delinquencies are reported to the credit bureaus and will damage your reputation with all types of lenders, even credit card companies.

Borrowers should do their best to avoid missing payments. A single delinquency may do damage to your credit score and call into question your reliability as a borrower.

What Can You Do If You’ve Had a Credit Card Application Denied?

Contact and talk to your bank, credit union or the credit card company. Although you might not be able to convince them that they were mistaken about your denial, they may be able to offer alternative credit cards for which you will qualify.

OnPath Federal Credit Union offers a variety of credit card solutions that are right for people with all types of credit ratings. Our Platinum Low-Rate Visa® may be the perfect option if you have average credit and are looking for a low-interest card for everyday purchases.  

Some OnPath members also take advantage of the credit card balance transfer capabilities of our Platinum Rewards and Platinum Signature Visa credit cards.

Call our team at 800.749.6193 to learn more about the credit card options available to OnPath FCU members.