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Credit Scores: Does Getting Denied for a Credit Card Impact my Credit Score?

Credit Scores:  Does Getting Denied for a Credit Card Impact my Credit Score?

Million Mile SecretsCredit Scores:  Does Getting Denied for a Credit Card Impact my Credit Score?Million Mile Secrets Team

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So you apply for a credit card with a large sign-up bonus, but you’re unable to get approved for it despite calling the reconsideration line.

Readers sometimes ask if getting denied for a credit card will impact their credit score.

Getting denied for a credit card will not impact your score because your credit report does not keep tabs on if you were approved or not for a loan.

How Is Your Credit Score Calculated?

According to the FICO website, your credit score is determined by:

  • 35% Payment History — (Do you pay on time?)
  • 30% Amounts Owed –  (Do you use a lot or little credit?)
  • 15% Length of Credit History — (How long have you had credit?)
  • 10% New Credit — (Have you applied for credit recently?)
  • 10% Types of Credit — (Do you have different credit types?)
Getting Approved or Denied isn't Used to Calculate Your Credit Score
Getting Approved or Denied isn’t Used to Calculate Your Credit Score

You can see that getting approved or denied for a credit card is NOT used to calculate your credit score.

But remember that applying for a credit card generates a credit inquiry which reduces your score.

The act of being denied for a credit card doesn’t by itself reduce your score, but your score likely decreased when you applied for the card.

The somewhat good news about being denied for credit is that you will receive a letter with your official FICO score on it for free.

Bottom Line

Being denied or approved for a credit card won’t impact your score by itself because it is not used to calculate your credit score.

But don’t forget that your score likely decreased when you applied for the credit card.

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19 comments

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Sorry for the dumb question, but if you are denied for a card, how long should you wait to reapply? I know there are several factors that can determine this, but if the planets all align perfectly, and all of a sudden your credit score is perfect, how long should you wait? 🙂

@MMS, I believe it has to be "a" score they used to review your application. As you mention, there are lenders that do provide a FICO score. In addition to those mentioned above, I believe Amex typically provides an EX FICO score, though I have read reports of them providing a different score when, on occasion, they pull a different report. There are lots of reports on myfico of people getting in-house scores or other FAKO scores, I just don't remember for which lenders.

@Paul... ouch... judge much? LOL.

@John, why would AMEX deny you for previously having a card?

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@Walt K - I believe they have to provide you with the score which they used to review your application. I've got my FICO score from Chase and Citi, but it could be a different version than what other lenders use.

@Miles - I'm sure it is a factor in getting approved and sometimes you can't proceed with the application if you click that you have been denied.

@John - Sorry to hear that, but thanks for sharing!

@tri - AMEX has terms and conditions which prevent you from getting the sign-up bonus on some cards if you've already had the card in the last 12 months or sometimes 3 months prior to application.

Data point, got a targeted AMEX and applied 88 days after my previous app (on the expiration date). I was denied for previously having the card which I expected, but was pleased to see they did NOT pull an inquiry, so not harm done for applying or for being denied.

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