Nowadays, credit card applications always seem to say something like “instant approval,” or “get a decision in just 30 seconds.”
That excites you, and before you know it, you’re involuntarily filling out the form, seemingly losing control of your own fingers.
Then you hit the submit button, only to get the dreaded, “Your application is being reviewed.”
It’s the classic bait and switch. You thought you were going to get a decision in mere seconds, only to find out that it will take up to 10 days or longer because your credit card application requires “further review.”
Even worse, they often say they’ll let you know in writing within 30 days if you’ve been approved or not. A month? Are you kidding me? Who can wait that long?
Why Is My Credit Card Application Being Reviewed?
What the heck is further review anyway? Why can’t I get my instant decision as promised? I have excellent credit!
Yes, we know you have an 800 credit score and you’ve never been late on a single monthly payment, ever.
That’s all good and well, and you probably deserve to be approved for said credit card, but what else have you been up to lately?
Did you apply for a bunch of other credit cards recently? Lots of new inquiries on your credit report? Trying to get a bunch of points and miles via a little churn?
Are there big balances on your existing credit cards that could be a warning sign to future extenders of credit?
What about your job? Did you switch jobs recently, or have you only been employed for a short while? Did you put in an astronomical figure in the income box that doesn’t make sense?
Or maybe you’re self-employed, and the issuer simply wants to know what it is that you do. After all, the level of success can vary widely for those who go it alone, so the issuer might want a few more details before proceeding.
Call the Reconsideration Line ASAP!
If you’re staring at the dreaded “application being reviewed” page, you can expedite the processing of your credit card application by calling the so-called “reconsideration line.”
These phone numbers aren’t widely advertised by credit card issuers, namely because they’re direct lines to real human beings working in the U.S.! And that costs money.
But it’s easy to track down the number you need by googling the card issuer and the phrase “reconsideration line.”
Once you get your hands on that number, jot it down, but don’t call yet. They’re going to do a quick little verbal underwrite, so you need to be prepared.
Aside from asking for basic identity information, the reconsideration rep will also ask questions like this:
– What is your job title? What do you do (if self employed)
– How long have you been at your current job?
– How much do you make annually?
– Why did you apply for this credit card?
First off, be polite and professional on the phone. Don’t call up and angrily ask why you weren’t immediately approved! Be friendly, be patient. They’re there to help.
When they ask you questions, answer them calmly and confidently. If you balk at any of the questions, you won’t win any points on your pending approval.
As I mentioned, make sure you have all the answers in front of you beforehand so you don’t answer, “um,” “err,” “I think it was this year or that much.”
Once the Q&A is all said and done, they’ll probably put you on hold and eyeball your credit report to see if anything looks amiss.
Assuming everything looks good, e.g. no missed payments, low balances, good credit score, they’ll probably hit that approve button and reveal your new credit line.
Note: If you have an existing credit card with them already, you might need to lower the credit line and push that amount onto the new card to get approved if they can’t extend anymore credit.
Once verbally approved, you can thank them and tell them to have a great day. Your card will be mailed shortly and you can start earning those points you so crave.
On the other hand, if your credit isn’t that great, and your answers to the questions aren’t too hot either, you could still be denied. So this isn’t a guaranteed road to approval, it’s simply an expedited review. Good luck!