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What to Do If You’re Not Immediately Approved for a New Credit Card

What to Do If You’re Not Immediately Approved for a New Credit Card

*Editorial Note: This content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuer. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer. This site may be compensated through a credit card issuer partnership.

This article was last updated Jan 04, 2019, but some terms and conditions may have changed or are no longer available. For the most accurate and up to date information please consult the terms and conditions found on the issuer website.

Applying for a new credit card can be an exciting time. There’s the prospect of rewards, bonuses, intro 0% APR periods and other perks that make card membership worthwhile.

Many credit card applications boast about fast decisions, sometimes in as little as 30 seconds, but that’s not always the case. No two applicants are the same, so one may receive an instant decision while the other may have to wait several days.

If you’ve applied for a credit card but received a notice saying your application is under further review or pending, it can be frustrating. No one wants to hit a bump in the road when they need extended buying power or want to take advantage of an introductory interest-free financing period to buy high-cost items.

We’ll explain why you may not receive instant approval on a credit card application, and provide steps you can take that may speed up the process. If you’ve been fortunate enough to be immediately approved for a credit card, learn what happens when you open a credit card account.

What ‘application pending’ and ‘under further review’ mean

If you don’t receive an instant decision on your credit card application, don’t jump to the conclusion that your application has been denied. “Application pending” and “under further review” mean the card issuer hasn’t approved or denied your application yet. The issuer is still reviewing your application so that it can make a decision.

Why your application may need further review

You may wonder why a card issuer needs to further review your application. Here are a few possible reasons:

  • Recent credit inquiries. If you’ve applied for several credit cards within a short period, you’ll have multiple inquiries on your credit report. The card issuer may want to take a closer look into the recent inquiries.
  • Verify income and personal information. While income doesn’t impact your credit score, it does affect new credit applications. Issuers look at your debt-to-income ratio — all your monthly debt payments divided by your gross monthly income — to decide if you’re able to repay debt. Issuers may also need more time to review other personal information listed on your application.
  • Mistakes on your application. When you submitted your application, you may have made a typo, which can delay the card issuer’s verification process. If that’s the case, look out for a request from the card issuer for additional documentation, like your Social Security card or a copy of your driver’s license.
  • Overflow of applications. Sometimes card issuers receive numerous applications as a result of limited-time offers and bonuses. The card issuer may need more time to process all the applications, causing a delay.

What to do if your application is pending

While it largely may be out of your hands to speed up the card issuer’s decision process, a few actions may help:

  • Call customer service. Pick up the phone and dial customer service to check the status of your application. You can inquire about the reasons your application is pending and see if you can provide additional information or documentation. This may speed up the decision process and remedy any mistakes you may have made on your application.
  • Monitor your email. The card issuer may reach out with additional questions or requests for documentation. It’s important you regularly check your email and be prompt with providing any requested information.

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