How I convinced Chase to reconsider my credit card application

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Coming out of college for my first full-time job, one of my financial goals was to get my own credit card.

I had a credit card before when my mom had the foresight to open a joint credit card when I started college – with her as a co-owner – to help me build my credit. After four years of responsible use, I had a credit rating by the mid-700s.

After combing through the NextAdvisor credit card reviews, I set my sights on the Chase Freedom Unlimited for its generous cash back in categories I knew I would use, with no annual fees and a generous bonus. ‘introduction.

I applied online and was quickly turned down.

The online form did not provide any details and I had to wait several days to receive a letter in the mail explaining the decision.

I turned to Kendall Little, senior writer and resident credit card expert at NextAdvisor, for advice. “Call Chase and ask them for details and appeal the decision,” Kendall told me. “At the very least, you will better understand why you were turned down,” she explained.

I called Chase’s customer service and politely explained my situation, then asked if they could tell me why my application was rejected. The representative gave me several reasons, two of which occurred to me:

  1. The total available line of credit – the maximum amount I could borrow – on my current joint credit card was too low.
  2. I had too many recently opened loan accounts (I had taken out student loans the previous semester).

Chase’s representative suggested that I submit a request for reconsideration. I have provided information about my current employer, salary, work history, and reasons for wanting the Chase Freedom Unlimited card.

After a few more steps to verify my identity, I received a welcome package for the Chase Freedom Unlimited card in the mail.

All in all, the whole process took about four weeks and a surprising amount of work. In addition to discovering the power of a polite phone call to customer service, here are five lessons I learned from that experience.

1. The credit score used by lenders may be different from what you see

Instead of paying a fee to check my credit score, I used my bank’s free credit score report service, which uses FICO scores from TransUnion. I thought I had a good credit score within the recommended range for the Chase Freedom Unlimited card.

However, when I received the decision letter from Chase, the score listed was almost 20 points lower than my bank reported. According to the letter, Chase used its own proprietary scoring system and data from Equifax. While it seems my credit rating was not the tipping point for the decision, the significant difference still surprised me.

The lesson I learned from this is that scores can vary depending on where you get them. Just because you’re in the recommended score range doesn’t mean you’re guaranteed to get a certain card.

2. It takes more than one-off payments to create credit

Even taking the spread into account, my credit rating was still rated as good to very good by most standards. However, the decision letter listed several factors other than my credit rating as grounds for refusal, including too low a line of credit on my current joint card and too many recently opened accounts.

For a long time, I assumed that paying your bills on time and in full was enough. It’s true that your credit score plays a major role in credit applications, and payment history is the biggest part of calculating your credit score. But I should have taken into account all the other factors that could affect my credit application.

Looking back, I could have paid more attention to my credit utilization rate – the amount borrowed divided by the total credit available. Recommended credit usage is less than 30%, and because I had a low line of credit with my previous card, my normal spending sometimes pushed me over the threshold.

I would also have liked to have spaced the timing of my credit card application so that it didn’t come so soon after taking out my student loans, as lenders view newly opened credit accounts as risky.

3. Your current line of credit may affect your future credit applications.

What surprised me the most was the impact my line of credit on my existing joint credit card had on my application. Your line of credit itself is not taken into account in calculating your credit score, only your credit utilization rate. I haven’t spent a lot on my card, so I never bothered to ask for an increase on the $ 500 line of credit I started with.

After several years of making payments on time, I probably would have been entitled to an increase in my line of credit if I had requested one. If I had known that my line of credit would affect my future card applications, I would have done the extra work to request an increase in my line of credit.

4. Be patient and apply strategically

After being turned down, I immediately started looking for other options. However, I refrained from applying as I didn’t want new credit applications to further hurt my credit score. Fortunately, I convinced Chase to reconsider my candidacy. But even if I had been rejected a second time, it would have been better to wait until the case was completely closed before trying elsewhere.

Even though things worked out in the end, I probably could have saved some time and hassle by requesting a card with simpler requirements. While it’s good to research which cards offer the best rewards and benefits, I’ve learned that it’s also important to have realistic expectations and strategically apply for the cards you have the best chance of qualifying for. .

Pro tip

While regularly monitor your credit rating is always a good idea, keep in mind that the credit score you check may not match that of lenders.

5. It is important to create credit early

One thing I did well – thanks to my mom – was create credit early. Looking back, I’m thankful my mom helped me get this joint credit card before I saw the need for it. Having an existing credit history allowed me to choose high value rewards cards for my first independent credit card.

For all parents, I recommend adding your teenager as an authorized user on your credit card or opening a joint credit card together. Teach them how to use it properly as soon as they are old enough to take responsibility. University students and young adults who want a card independent of their parents may consider applying for secure cards and student cards specifically designed to help people with no credit history build credit.

Why I chose Chase Freedom Unlimited

When I did my initial research to decide which credit card I should get, I had two other competitors besides Chase Freedom Unlimited: the Citi® Double Cash Card * and the Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card *. While all three are highly rated cash back cards with no annual fee – my most important consideration – I ended up going with the Chase Freedom Unlimited for two reasons:

  • Introductory bonus: Unlike the Citi Double Cash card, the Chase Freedom Unlimited card came with an introductory bonus of $ 200 after spending $ 500 on purchases in the first three months after opening the account. Even though the Citi Double Cash Card had a higher overall base cash back percentage (2% vs. 1.5%, not including additional reward categories), it would take $ 40,000 in spend for the difference to cash back exceeds the value of the introductory bonus – far more than I would spend in a year.
  • Categories of expenses: My biggest monthly expense besides rent and utilities is food. The Chase Freedom Unlimited Card and Capital One SavorOne both offer an introductory bonus of $ 200 and 3% cash back on restaurant meals. The Chase Freedom Unlimited offers 5% cash back on grocery store purchases (excluding Target® or Walmart® purchases) up to $ 12,000 spent in the first year, cash back $ 1.00 5% on all purchases and the Capital One SavorOne offers 3% cash back. on grocery stores (excluding superstores like Walmart® and Target®) and 1% cash back on other purchases. While I normally enjoy cooking, part of my plan to meet the $ 500 bonus spending requirement was to eat more in restaurants. I knew my food budget for the next three months would include more take out than groceries, so I assessed the cashback categories accordingly.
  • Introductory bonus:
  • Annual subscription :

    $ 0

  • Regular APR:

    14.99% – 23.74% Variable

  • Recommended credit:

    670-850 (good to excellent)

  • Learn more external link icon on the secure site of our partner.
  • Introductory bonus:

    N / A

  • Annual subscription :

    $ 0

  • Regular APR:

    13.99% – 23.99% (Variable)

  • Recommended credit:

    670-850 (good to excellent)

  • Learn more external link icon on the secure site of our partner.
  • Introductory bonus:
  • Annual subscription :

    $ 0

  • Regular APR:

    15.49% – 25.49% (variable)

  • Recommended credit:

    670-850 (good to excellent)

  • Learn more external link icon on the secure site of our partner.

Of course, I made these decisions based on my personal financial situation and goals – as a young man in my twenties living independently with no big purchases on the horizon and no reason to spend money. for anything other than necessary. For someone who has more opportunities to spend – for example, someone who takes care of an entire family – a higher cash back rate may be more beneficial than an introductory bonus. Likewise, if you are spending more in certain categories, it is worth choosing a card that offers category-specific cash back bonuses.

* All Citi Double Cash card and Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards credit card information has been collected independently by NextAdvisor and has not been reviewed by the issuer.

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Can I Lie on a Credit Card Application?

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If you are having financial difficulties, you may be tempted to lie about a credit card application. However, this can have serious consequences. We take a look at the main reasons why this is a bad idea.

Is It Wrong to Lie About a Credit Card Application?

Yes. It is not a good idea to lie on a credit card application because it is illegal, ethically wrong, and likely to damage your credit score. Lying about your request for access to a card you cannot afford could lead to financial problems and even bankruptcy.

Can You Lie About Your Age On A Credit Card Application?

No. Confirming your age is one of the first things credit card lenders do. Most credit card providers only issue credit cards to people between the ages of 18 and 65.

What happens if you lie on a credit card application?

You will likely be prosecuted for fraud if you are caught lying on a credit card application, which could result in a hefty fine or even jail time. Such a crime goes on your credit report. If you need credit in the future, you might not be considered, no matter how strong your financial situation.

If you’re lucky enough to avoid being caught lying about a credit card application, don’t think you’re absent without scruples.

There’s a reason lenders have strict requirements. This not only protects them from risk, but ensures that you are able to make the repayments. If you lie on your credit card application and find yourself in a situation where you cannot make the required payments, this is when you will get caught.

What happens if you make a mistake on a credit card application?

Of course, it’s best to avoid making mistakes on your credit card application because they reflect badly on you. Always go through your completed application form more than once to check for errors. It may be in your best interest to have someone else complete the form as well.

The problem with errors is that it is difficult to prove to the lender that a particular error is genuine. For example, if you provided incorrect information about your employer, the lender might naturally think that you are trying to lie about your earnings.

While mistakes can be corrected, chances are the lender already sees you as high risk.

Do credit card providers verify your income?

Yes. If you are employed, a credit card application may require copies of your payslips. Self-employed people may need to provide their bank statements and income tax returns for the most recent tax year. Your income is used to determine if you can make repayments to your credit card.

Do credit card companies verify your bank account?

The short answer is no. However, depending on your source of income, credit card companies may request bank statements. That being said, credit card companies are not permitted to access your bank account directly from your bank.

What are credit card providers reviewing for approval?

There are several things that credit card companies can look at when deciding whether or not to approve your application. However, the most common factors taken into account include:

  • Returned
  • Household expenses
  • Credit score and debts
  • Age

Credit card companies will also ask you to confirm that the information provided on the credit card application form is true and valid.

Could you be rewarded for your daily expenses?

Rewards credit cards include programs that simply reward you for using your credit card. When you spend money on a reward card, you can earn loyalty points, store vouchers, airline miles, and more. MyWalletHero makes it easy for you to find a card that matches your spending habits so you can get the most out of your rewards.

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