Have you recently applied for a credit card but have been rejected? Unfortunately, most banks don’t explain why your credit card application was declined. That said, it can be challenging if you want to improve your chances when applying for another card.
There are various reasons why your credit card application is rejected. One of the reasons could be because of young account age. This means your account does not have enough credit history. Many credit card issuers are reluctant to approve your application if they don’t know your money management style, pending debts, and more.
Or course, this is just one of the possibilities. So before you attempt to apply for a credit card again, explore these common reasons for rejecting a card application.
5 Reasons Why Your Credit Card Applications Were Rejected
1. You Applied for Multiple Credit Cards in a Short Amount of Time
If this isn’t the first time you’ve applied for a credit card, there is a 50% chance of your application getting declined. Every time you send an application for any type of credit, the financial institution will request a copy of your credit file for assessment.
Each inquiry will be recorded on your file and will affect your credit score. If the credit card issuer sees these multiple credit inquiries, they may consider you a risk. Thankfully, these hits on your credit score are light and will eventually go away.
That said, if you’ve recently applied for several credit cards, wait a few months to a year before trying to apply again.
2. You Have Poor Credit History
There are various reasons for having a poor credit history. For one, your account age may be too young. This means you don’t have enough history for credit card companies to determine your creditworthiness.
That said, you must at least have one credit card and make sure to make prompt payments in full. Another way to build up your credit history is by getting a mobile phone or utilities in your name. It’s important to build a good track record by paying your bills on time.
3. Your Salary Is Too Low
Eligibility requirements may vary depending on the type of credit card. You need to check whether you qualify before applying. One of the key criteria you should check is the minimum salary requirement.
For instance, some banks only require a minimum annual salary of S$30,000. To prove your income, you may be asked to provide proof of employment and recent copies of payslips. If you are unable to satisfy the salary requirements, your application will be declined.
4. You Applied for an Unrealistic Credit Limit
Another possible reason for a declined card application is that you applied for a high credit limit. It may be beneficial to request a low credit limit to start with. You can always increase your card limit once you’ve built up your credit history.
If you pay your credit card bills on time and in full, this will earn you a good track record. If that’s the case, then financial institutions will be happy to increase your credit limit after a while.
5. You Already Have Too Much Debt
If you have existing credit cards or loan balances, you need to pay them off promptly. Financial institutions are reluctant in approving additional credit when you already have too much debt or too many credit cards.
On top of that, unpaid balances and late payments can affect your credit score. Your credit score indicates how likely you are to default on your loan. So, if you have too much debt, you will have a low credit score. This will then indicate to banks that you have a higher risk of defaulting on a payment.
Aside from your credit score, financial institutions will also take a look at your Debt-to-Income Ratio (DTI) and Total Debt Servicing Ratio.
- Debt-to-Ratio: This calculates the relation between your debt and income. You can get the ratio by dividing your recurring monthly debt payments and your gross monthly income. The ideal DTI is less than 36%.
- Total Debt Servicing Ratio: This refers to the portion of your monthly salary that you spend on repaying your monthly debt obligation. It should be less than or equal to 55%.
Tips for Getting Your Credit Card Application Approved
Review Your Credit Reports
Your credit report will show how capable you are of managing your debt. That’s why lenders assess your creditworthiness using your credit report. They will use this report to judge whether to approve your credit card application.
So before you start applying for a new credit card, you must review your credit history or get a copy of your credit report. Here’s what you need to do once you have it:
- Identify the areas that are affecting your credit score.
- Check for any clerical errors
Remember, these errors can negatively impact your credit score. That said, if you find anything odd, contact Credit Bureau Singapore (CBS). You can request an investigation and correction.
Demonstrate Responsible Repayment Behavior
One way to improve your credit score, as well as your credit history, is by paying off your debt obligations responsibly. You should:
- Pay your bills on time, all the time
- Pay off existing balances before submitting a new credit card application
- Keep at least one credit card active
In doing so, banks and financial institutions will recognize that you are a responsible and low-risk borrower. It will also demonstrate that you are managing your finances well.
Limit Your Requests for New Credit
It may be tempting to apply for more than one credit card just in case the other is declined. Unfortunately, doing so will only increase your chances of getting rejected.
Financial institutions may interpret this as having a lot of debt. As a result, they may consider you as a risky applicant. Apply to only one credit card at a time. If your application is declined, wait a few months before trying again.
Keep at Least One Credit Card Active
If you already have an existing credit card, make sure to keep at least one card active. This will help in building up your credit history.
However, watch your credit utilization ratio. A healthy credit utilization must not exceed 30%. You can get this ratio by dividing your existing card balance by your available credit limit. High credit card balances can negatively affect your application.
That said, while you keep one credit card active, you must also pay down balances as soon as possible.
Improve Your Total Debt Servicing Ratio & Debt-to-Income Ratio
There are various ways to improve your TDSR and DTI ratio. For one, you need to pay off your outstanding balances on time. Here are other things you can do:
- Take a look at all your unpaid debts. Which ones have the highest monthly repayment amount? Prioritize that debt.
- Avoid taking on more debt.
- Consider asking your employer for a raise. This will help lower your DTI ratio since there will be a boost in your income. If you can’t ask for a raise, consider looking into earning with a side hustle.
How To Get a Free Credit Bureau Report
The easiest way to get a credit report in Singapore is to buy it directly from Credit Bureau Singapore (CBS). However, you need to pay around S$6.42.
When you apply for a new credit card or loan with any CBS member, you’ll be able to get a credit report for free. A notification will be sent informing you whether your application has been approved or rejected. The letter will contain instructions on how to get a free credit report from CBS within 30 calendar days.
Things To Consider Before Applying for Your First Credit Card
Before you apply for any credit card facility, there are a few things you need to consider. By taking into account these factors, you may avoid pitfalls that can lead to a declined credit card application.
- Do you have a healthy credit history? Can you prove that you are managing your debt?
- Do you have a stable income? Aside from qualifying for the minimum annual income, you’ll also have a higher chance of getting approved if you have a stable income. Submit documents that prove your employment history.
- What are your credit card options? There are plenty of credit cards in Singapore. So before you apply, you must narrow down your options. Apply for a card that will best suit your spending habits and lifestyle.
- Can you pay back your credit card debt? Taking out a credit card is a huge responsibility. That said, take a look at the credit card’s fees and charges, such as interest rate and annual fee, before applying. You must also consider whether you can meet the card’s monthly minimum payment requirement.
Discover the best credit cards in Singapore for beginners.
Frequently Asked Questions
Am I Eligible For A Credit Card?
The eligibility criteria may vary depending on the financial institution and the type of credit card you’re applying for. Additionally, your eligibility is subject to thorough assessment. That said, it’s best to visit the credit card issuer’s website to see the full list of credit card eligibility requirements.
What Are the Most Common Credit Card Fees I Should Know About?
- Annual Fees: This is considered a membership fee. The average annual fee for credit cards in Singapore is around S$192.60. Some banks offer a first-year waiver. You can also contact your card issuer if there’s a criterion you need to fulfill to waive this fee every year.
- Foreign Transaction Fee: This is the extra charge you need to pay when you buy something overseas. This fee is usually between 2.5% and 3.5% of your total transaction amount.
- Late Charges: Aside from interest, you will also incur late charges when you fail to pay your credit card bill by the due date. That said, avoid late charges since this can negatively impact your credit score.
Will I Be Informed if My Card Application Has Been Rejected?
Most banks and financial institutions in Singapore will send you a notification letter if they require additional documents or information. You will also receive a notification letter if your card application has been rejected. However, not all banks will provide details as to why it was declined.
What Do I Do If My Application Is Rejected?
If your card application is rejected, you can always contact the credit card company why they declined. If it was due to your credit report, you can review it and look for possible errors. Immediately fix these errors.
You can also try to take the necessary steps to improve your credit score. Resolve any issues behind the rejection. You may be tempted to apply for another card following a rejection, but it’s better to hold off a few months.
How Do I Compare Credit Cards?
Don’t just apply for any credit card that you find interesting. It’s best to compare your options first. Here are a few key comparison points:
- Interest rates on purchases, cash advances, and balance transfer
- Annual fees and available annual fee waiver
- Interest-free periods
- Credit card rewards – miles, points, and cashback
- Complimentary insurance, such as travel insurance, purchase protection, and more.
- Additional perks and benefits such as lifestyle discounts, free airport lounge access, and concierge services.
If you have a credit card you want to apply for, check your eligibility first. It’s also a good idea to get a credit report so you can check for any errors. Doing so will help improve your chances of approval.
- Applying for multiple credit lines can negatively impact your credit score as well as hurt your chances of getting approved for a credit card.
- Build up your credit history by keeping at least one credit card active and paying off your bills on time.
- Improve your Total Debt Servicing Ratio and Debt-To-Income Ratio by paying off your outstanding debt or increasing your monthly income.
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