Credit Card Reconsideration: How and When To Request It
No one enjoys rejection – especially from banks. It’s pretty frustrating to be informed that you are not eligible for the credit card you’ve been waiting for. The reasons are endless; they tell you it’s because of your recent delinquency, or maybe, it’s because you have too many active accounts open. Regardless, it is important to know that you can get your credit card application reassessed and it is often worth a shot – after all, you have nothing to lose. Doing so is often known as a credit card reconsideration, meaning that you reengage with the same issuer to politely negotiate your way to an approval.
Generally, your initial rejection is issued to you by a computer with an algorithm that is designed to turn down people with select types of credit histories. However, note that issuers are required to reconsider your applications upon request. Under regulation 1002.6 in the ‘Equal Credit Opportunity Act’, it states that creditors shall consider “any information the applicant may present that tends to indicate the credit history being considered by the creditor does not accurately reflect the applicant’s creditworthiness”. Therefore, you can get in touch with an actual human representative to reposition your case by providing more information. They tend to have more empathy and understanding than the computers regarding your application – if you maneuver the process correctly, that is. Thus, if you were rejected the first time, you might have a better shot the second time by requesting a reconsideration.
Should I Get My Credit Card Application Reconsidered?
In order to determine whether you should make a credit card reconsideration request, the general rule of thumb is to review the reasons why you were denied. After all, your chances of success will be based on the extent to which you can refute, negotiate or update that information. For example, if the chief reason you were denied the credit card was due to a lower-than-required credit score, then it might be advantageous to mention that there is a mistake on one of your credit reports. Alternatively, if your reason for rejection was due to low income, then it would be helpful to update that information to indicate that you and/or your spouse both recently got raises, for instance.
Make sure you highlight all the ways in which you can improve your reputation as a potential card holder but do not exaggerate or lie – the repercussions for doing so could tarnish your relationship with the issuer permanently. However, if there is no way in which you can refute, negotiate or update any of the information at all, then your chances for an approval the second time around will be extremely low, rendering you a poor candidate for a reconsideration request.
How to Make Request a Credit Card Reconsideration Request
Let’s get straight to the logistics: How should you get in contact with the banks? You can choose to call in and/or write a letter. Which method you choose depends on personal preference as well as how much additional information you will be sharing with the bank. For example, if you need to send supporting documents, the mail might be the preferable route.
Unfortunately, many banks dislike receiving and dealing with reconsideration requests so they make it difficult for customers to find their direct contact information (i.e. their reconsideration phone lines and reconsideration postal addresses). In most cases, they provide a general ‘credit card application status’ phone line first, and from there, prompt you to write a letter and/or transfer you to a reconsideration phone line. However, please note that some credit card rejection notices come with a contact number – if yours does, call that number instead. In other instances, use the list below to find the ‘credit card application status’ phone lines and mailing addresses for the bank that issues the card you were rejected for:
|Issuer||Phone Number||Mailing Address|
|1-800-945-2006 (Press 0)||Card Services
P.O. Box 15298
|1-866-422-8089||Bank of America
PO Box 2493
Norfolk, VA 23501-2493
P.O. Box 360001
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33336-0001
|1-888-201-4523||Citibank Customer Service
PO Box 6500
Sioux Falls, SD 57117-6500
|1-800-625-7866||Attn: General Correspondence
PO Box 30285
Salt Lake City, UT 84130-0285
|1-800-347-2683||Discover Financial Services
P.O. Box 30943
Salt Lake City, UT 84130-0943
PO Box 6361
Fargo, ND 58125
|1-800-869-3557||Wells Fargo Card Services
P.O. Box 30086
Los Angeles, CA 90030-0086
|1-888-385-8916||HSBC Bank USA, N.A.
P.O. Box 2013
Buffalo, NY 14240
|1-800-531-8722||USAA Federal Savings Bank
10750 McDermott Freeway
San Antonio, TX 78288-9876
P.O. Box 8801
Wilmington, DE 19899-8801
4653 East Main Street
Columbus, OH 43251
|1-888-530-3626||First National Bank
P.O. BOX 2490
Omaha, NE 68103-2490
Credit Card Reconsideration Letter
For writing a letter to the bank, if you choose to utilize this method, we have drafted a template in which you may find useful to follow. Because it is a basic and flexible model, make sure you customize it to suit your own circumstances:
(Insert bank address)
(Insert your full name and credit card application reference #)
Dear (Insert bank issuer name),
I would like to ask you to reconsider my application for your (Insert name of credit card) credit card. I recently applied and I was rather surprised to receive a denial regarding my application. Due to the numerous positive reviews shared by my family and friends with respect to this card, I would like to share some more information with you in hopes of obtaining an approval.
In your letter, you listed that the reasons for the denial were (Insert the list of reasons). However, I would like to shed some more light and update some of these issues. Firstly, (Use this space to correct the issues. For example, if one of the reasons was that you have a lower-than-required credit score, it would be helpful to mention that there was a mistake on one of your credit reports. It would also be useful to explain and validate the reasons why your credit score appears bleak – perhaps you had to take care of a medical emergency that is no longer a drag on your finances or a recent search for an apartment that resulted in numerous hard inquiries).
The (Insert name of credit card) credit card will prove especially useful to me because (Use this space to list reasons for why this specific card will be advantageous for you. Do not simply say that you like the bonuses. More specific examples such as “I travel a lot and the no foreign fee feature is a great fit for me” or “I fly often and the miles rewards will be very beneficial” are much better. The more knowledge you display regarding the card, the more convincing you will be).
I sincerely believe that I deserve a chance with this card. If you are willing, you can even start me with a low credit line so I can prove to you my reliability and loyalty to this bank. If needed, I am also willing to request credit line decreases on some of my other active cards, if absolutely necessary.
I thank you for your time and reconsideration and I hope to hear back from you soon.
Reconsideration Request Tips
Is there a science to getting an approval on your request for reconsideration? The answer is both yes and no. Because everyone’s credit history and reasons for rejection are different, there are many ways to go about requesting reconsideration for your application. However, despite how circumstantial the processes are, there are several integral pointers that everyone should follow when striving to get an approval the second time around:
- Understand the Rejection Rationale: Issuers are obligated to provide specific reasons for why your application was denied, so use these as a starting point (if they do not provide specific reasons, you are entitled to ask for them within 60 days of receiving your rejection notice). Again, it is critical to understand why you were rejected because you will need to refute, negotiate and update those reasons. Furthermore, if you can spot any discrepancies between your credit report and the reasons the bank listed for rejecting your application, then you will need to bring that to a bank representative’s immediate attention. Additionally, there are times when your credit report can have errors. The information the credit bureaus use to compile your credit report is gathered from many different sources, which can sometimes be inputted incorrectly. Though this is uncommon, it is still important to review your own credit report to ensure that the information is accurate.
- Make the Request ASAP: It’s generally a good idea to request reconsideration within days of receiving your rejection notice. Though there is no set time frame, if you wait too long, it might count as a new application (instead of a reconsideration) and result in another hard inquiry on your credit report (which may temporarily damage your credit score even more).
- Review Your Credit History Thoroughly: It will be extremely difficult to persuade the bank why you are a good candidate if you aren’t even sure where you stand or what is available in your arsenal. Understand what your weaknesses and strengths are as a candidate, check for errors in your credit report and build a case for your approval. For example, even if you had several missed payments years ago, make sure you bring to their attention that you have paid on time for 15 months consecutively now. It is important to reposition your reputation as a safe and good candidate by demonstrating your reliability, trustworthiness and loyalty to the bank.
- Be Polite: Make it clear that you are being proactive but not pushy, rude or demanding. After all, realize that a human on the other end will be making the decision.
- Know Why You Want the Card: Your case for card approval will seem more genuine if you have concrete reasons for wanting the particular card in question. Broad reasons like “I want the initial rewards bonus” will not work well – in fact, opt for more specific reasons such as “I am abroad a lot so I would really like to use this card for its no foreign fee feature.” Another great example is “I like the EMV chip feature because I travel to Europe often”.
- Negotiate Terms as a Last Resort: You could, for example, offer to start with a low credit line on your new card as a way to prove your reliability and loyalty to the bank. However, while this may increase your chances of procuring the credit card, only negotiate as a last resort as you don’t want to lower your standards. Additionally, doing so too early might make you look unconfident and desperate rather than stable and determined.
What are Alternatives to a Credit Card Reconsideration?
If it comes down to a failed attempt at obtaining a credit card approval the second time around, or if you decide to avoid requesting reconsideration entirely, then you still have several other viable options to consider:
- Try a Different Issuer: Each credit card company has its own underwriting criteria, so it is entirely possible that you could get approved for an equivalent card from a different issuer.
- Apply for a Lower Tier Credit Card: You can reapply from scratch but this option is also available as one of the negotiating offers in a credit card reconsideration request (you could propose to downgrade to a lower tier credit card from the same bank issuer with similar features). However, remember that reapplying from scratch often means another hard pull of your credit report so perhaps pursuing this option through a reconsideration request is a better idea.
- Apply for a Secured Credit Card: Secured credit cards are great credit building tools for people with limited or bad credit because they offer essentially guaranteed approval. That’s because they require you to place a refundable security deposit that serves as your credit line.
Image: Kutlayev Dmitry/Shutterstock
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