Disclosure: We get a commission for links on the blog. You don’t have to use our links, but we’re very grateful when you do. American Express, Barclaycard, Chase, and US Bank are Million Mile Secrets advertising partners. Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or endorsed by our partners. Here’s our Advertiser Disclosure.
Million Mile Secrets reader Keith commented:
Is it normal to say “application pending” after applying for a credit card online?
Great question, Keith!
Many folks (including myself) who apply for lots of credit cards have seen this message before.
If it’s your first time seeing this, have no fear. I’ll explain what to do about it and why this message might appear!
Contact the Bank
When you apply for a credit card, you’ll see 1 of the following results: approved, declined, or pending application.
If you’re approved, great! The next step is to meet the minimum spending requirement and earn the sign-up bonus for Big Travel!
If you are declined, contact banks via their reconsideration line.
But, what should you do if you see “pending application” or “needs further review?” If you’re like me, you’ll want to know right away why you weren’t approved instantly.
To find out why, you can call the bank and ask for the reconsideration department. You’ll usually get to speak to a credit representative to find out what’s going on.
If you have a checking or savings account at the same bank, sometimes your banker can contact the credit card department to see what information they are looking for.
5 Reasons for Pending Applications
Before you call or stop by a branch, it’s good to know the potential reasons you weren’t immediately approved for the card.
1. Inconsistent Application Information
Each time you request a credit card, the bank looks at your credit report to see your credit history and scores. But they also look at personal information like your name and address to see if it matches your credit application.
But your name and address may differ from your file if you’ve moved or changed your name. A quick call can clear the way towards an approval!
2. Fraud Prevention
Have you applied for many credit cards recently? Or perhaps this is your 2nd credit card application in the same day.
Banks want to make sure it’s you submitting the credit card application and not someone else using your personal information! When you call, you might just have to confirm it was you looking for a new credit card.
3. Income Verification
On occasion, the bank won’t approve your card right away because they’d like you to confirm the income you’ve reported on the sign-up form.
A few years ago, I had to provide AMEX with my tax returns to verify income. This is NOT typically required, but it’s a good reminder to be honest about your income.
4. Credit Report Concerns
My friend’s application with Chase went pending a few years ago because there was an unpaid medical bill on her credit report. My friend knew this bill was paid off and explained the situation to the credit representative who then approved her application.
That’s why it’s a good idea to check your credit report occasionally to make sure it’s accurate.
5. Busy at the Bank
Sometimes banks get overloaded because of the popularity of a terrific limited-time offer. So they might move your application to pending to have more time to review it.
Phoning the bank could get you approved faster!
It’s best to call the credit card company soon after you apply if your application is pending or needs further review.
The bank might just want to verify minor details like your name or address. Or you may need to provide additional information to get your approval.