Card Application Pending? Don’t Worry, Follow These Steps

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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.

Application Pending Don't Worry Follow These Steps
Don’t Let a Pending Application Stop You From Earning a Sign-Up Bonus

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!

Application Pending Don't Worry Follow These Steps
Credit Card Approved! Use Your Sign-Up Bonus to Plan 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.

Application Pending Don't Worry Follow These Steps
Smile and Dial! Sometimes It Just Takes a Quick Phone Call to Get an Approval

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!

Bottom Line

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.

Editorial Note: We're the Million Mile Secrets team. And we're proud of our content, opinions and analysis, and of our reader's comments. These haven’t been reviewed, approved or endorsed by any of the airlines, hotels, or credit card issuers which we often write about. And that’s just how we like it! :)

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