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Most banks provide instant decisions when you apply for a new credit card. But, there are times when your application requires further review. While you can impatiently wait for the bank to manually review your application, there are ways you can speed up a pending credit card decision. Let’s review how.
Why You Might Have a Pending Credit Card Decision
Reading the words “Your application is pending further review” is frustrating. In most cases, the bank will also go on to state that it can take seven to ten days to reach a final decision. After that, it can still be another five business days before your new card arrives in the mail.
Pending credit decisions cause more delay than you think. This can be especially frustrating if you need a card ASAP because you’re hoping to qualify for a signup bonus.
Every credit card company has their own approval criteria. By no means is this list all-encompassing. However, these are a few common reasons why your application is pending.
Too Many Recent Credit Card Applications
If you’re a travel hacker, you most likely have several credit cards in your wallet. It is recommended that you keep tabs on how many applications you have in the most recent 24 months. After 24 months, the credit card inquiry drops off your credit report.
Usually, if the bank decides you have too many recent applications, your application gets declined. The only thing you can do is wait until your hard inquiry count drops.
These are two of the bank rules you should know about:
- Chase: The “Chase 5/24 Rule” is the most well-known rule. If you apply for at least 5 credit cards in the last 24 months, your application for select Chase cards is declined. Being listed as an authorized user counts as one of the 5 applications too. And, it doesn’t matter which bank is offering the credit card. Some of the cards subject to the 5/24 rule include the Sapphire Cards and some of the co-brand credit cards.
- Bank of America: The BofA has a”2/3/4 rule.” You can’t apply for more than 2 BofA credit cards every 2 months. You also can’t apply for more than 3 cards in a year or 4 cards in two years.
Must Verify Your Identity or Income
Other banks want to review your identity and income to prevent credit fraud. In most cases, you can clarify this information with a phone call or by submitting an additional online form. In extreme cases, you may have to mail a copy of your tax return to prove your income or other official documents.
One example can be applying for a premium income with a relatively low income or net worth. Another example is if you’re self-employed (which makes any credit card or loan application slightly more difficult).
A Low Credit Score
A “low” credit score and a “bad” credit score aren’t always the same thing. You can have good credit, but it might not be good enough for the best credit cards yet.
Maybe this is the first credit card you’re applying for. Or perhaps you’re in the process of rebuilding your score. Some cards that require excellent credit (a score above 780) may review your application if your score is slightly below that mark. Whether you receive an instant decision or get flagged for further review depends on your other personal and credit factors too.
If you still only have good credit, it can be better to apply for a credit card for good credit. Your approval odds are higher so you have a better chance of receiving instant approval. Here are the best credit cards for a 740 score.
Recent Missed Payments or High Card Balances
Even if you’re credit score is still within the range of most applicants, a history of recently missed payments or high balances puts your approval odds at risk.
The bank might be unsure if these two negative factors were one-time accidents or the start of a new trend. They may pass your application to a manager for review.
The Bank Has Too Many Applications
Sometimes, new credit cards go “viral.” If so, the approval department has to work more hours to process applications. Once the backlog clears, you will receive your pending credit card decision.
How to Speed Up Your Pending Credit Card Decision
While you probably won’t see the reason why your application is pending review on the application screen, the bank has a note in its records. The review team may contact you about the review. Or, they may do the research themselves without calling you. However, you don’t know when they may call.
Basically, the only way to receive a decision sooner is to call the bank’s customer service number. You can call the number provided on the application screen.
Most banks now give you the capability to track your application status in real time. If you don’t receive an update in one or two business days, you should call the bank. The person you talk to usually has the option to approve your application. Or, they can transfer you to their manager who can make the final decision.
Chase is the one large bank that doesn’t let you track your card application status in real-time. You must call their reconsideration line to receive updates:
- Personal Credit Cards: 1-888-270-2127
- Business Credit Cards: 1-800-453-9719
Call the Bank
When calling the bank, ask for the credit reconsideration department. At most, wait two days before you call if they don’t contact you first.
Once you’re talking with the credit representative, remember to always be kind. Kindness can go a long way in these conversations.
If you also happen to have another credit card, loan, or bank account with the bank, have this information handy. You can use it to verify some personal questions they may ask.
As the conversation progresses, you may be put on hold as the agent reviews your file. Or, they may have to get secondary approval from their supervisor before they can say “Yes” or “No.”
To get approved, you may have to accept a smaller credit limit. This concession makes you a less risky credit card owner. Plus, you at least still get approved and have the chance to build credit.
Once you receive verbal approval, you may have to return online to add an authorized user. But, your new credit card will print in the next batch.
Summary of How to Expedite a Pending Credit Card Decision
The best way to solve a pending credit card decision is to call the issuing bank. You may wait 24 to 48 hours as the credit card department may only need to perform a quick manual review. If you don’t hear from them within a few days, give them a call to see what next steps you need to take. Hopefully, you’ll end the call with a positive approval.