Why did my credit card application get denied?

Getting denied for a credit card sucks– but it’s more common than you might think. For students and people with no previous credit history only 16% applications get approved. Why is that? And what should you do about it? Read on to learn more.

When credit card companies review applications, they are trying to figure out whether to give you an open ended line of credit, how much credit to offer (limit), and on what terms. As part of this evaluation they are primarily trying to evaluate two things: 

  • Intent: are you someone who has the intent to repay any money you borrow via a potential credit limit? Do you have a history of making reliable, on time payments? 
  • Ability: are you someone with the ability to pay back anything you spend up to your limit? Do you have enough income or assets that will allow you to pay back what you spend? 

Out of these two Intent is often the harder criteria to evaluate. If you don’t have a proven credit history most credit card companies will find it difficult to evaluate your intent and reliability. 

When we look at credit card approval rates, people with no credit history have an approval rate of only 16%. And most credit card applications are from people who have little or no credit history. 

Ok so you can’t get a credit card without a credit history. But wait a minute… you also can’t build a credit history without a credit card. 

How do you break out of this chicken or egg situation? What’s anyone supposed to do? 

Unfortunately the sad truth is that over 110M Americans are stuck in this chicken or egg situation. The result is staying on debit cards for far too long, not getting started building credit till it's too late, and going through life with a major financial handicap. 

We think this situation sucks and that there should be a better way. That’s where Atlas comes in. 

Atlas solves this chicken or egg situation. You can get an Atlas credit card without a credit check. Approval rates are up to 6x higher than traditional credit cards and it takes just about two minutes to get approved and get started. 

So, what should you do if your credit card application gets denied?

  1. Try again with a different credit card. However it will result in another hard credit check which could hurt your credit score. And there’s a good chance you will be rejected again since your credit score likely hasn’t gotten any better since the last application. 
  1. Wait and apply again next semester. There’s always a chance you will get approved the second, third or fourth time. But waiting sucks.. And unless your credit score or income have changed it probably will be a pain. 
  1. Get a secured card. You’ll need to lock up some cash in a security deposit and will likely get a pretty low limit. Not a great option to lock up the cash you may need over the next few months or years. 
  1. Get a co-signer. This would have to be someone over 21 years who agrees to be legally responsible for your credit card bill in case you don’t pay. It’s a headache and you lose all privacy related to your spending. 
  1. Get the Atls card. Start building credit and getting rewards the easy way. No credit check, no headaches, and never pay any interest. 

Some common myths

  1. I’m on my parents credit card, so I’m probably already building credit right? Actually no, you’re probably not building credit and are in for a surprise when you eventually need to get your own card, refinance your student loan, buy a car, or purchase a home. 
  1. I’m young, do I really need to care about building credit? Yes! One of the key factors in a credit score is “age of oldest account”. So it’s very important to start early. Even if you don’t need to access credit today, almost everyone needs to rely on credit to achieve their financial goals sooner or later (eg: student loans, buying a car, renting an apartment, starting a business, buying a home, etc.).

Atlas is the way to go

If you’re wondering what the right option is for you, we think you’ve found it in Atlas. We built Atlas exactly because the current status-quo sucks, and it’s time for something better. 

Don’t lose any more time. Get started with Atlas to set yourself up for a brighter future. Your future self will thank you. 

Get started today

As fast as two minutes
0% APR with limits that grow with you
No income or credit check needed
Applying won't affect credit score

Thank you! You are on the waitlist. We will follow up.
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.