Can't get approved for a credit card? What am I doing wrong?

I'm a 20 year old college student, working 18-24 hours a week. I've been trying to get approved for a credit card so that I can start building credit.

I applied for a card with the local credit union that I've been a member of for the past few years and they declined my request. And then I also applied for a STUDENT card with Bank of America and they also declined.

I didn't have a cosigner for either one. However, one of my friends was able to get a regular (non-student) card with Bank of America without a cosigner.

Why doesn't anyone want to give me chance? None of my family members are willing to cosign. So I guess I'm SOL forever?

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  • Merry
    Lv 7
    7 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    You should wait six months before applying for any other cards (which gives you time to do your research). At this point, you've hurt your credit by applying twice in a short period of time. Applying for any card (whether you're accepted or not) will put a small ding on your credit rating. If you apply for lots of different cards, those dings will add up. This is why it's good to research first which issuer is likely to approve you.

    Some card issuers won't approve anyone who doesn't already have some credit to their name. Some students cards are even like this (I don't know if BoA is one of them or not). Did they tell you they were denying you because you don't already have credit? You can pull all three credit reports for free (once per year) at https://www.annualcreditreport.com/cra/index.jsp. That might be a good idea, just in case there's something on there that you don't know about (maybe an unpaid doctor bill or something like that).

    Also, during your six month wait, you should make sure that you open a savings (not just checking) account if you don't already have one in place. Not only does it look better on the application, but you should get in the habit of paying yourself first.

    I like Discover's student card (my daughter has it and loves it). They will approve first time borrower (if you're a college student), they have a great cashback bonus program and wonderful 24/7 customer service. They also report to all three credit bureaus, which will help with building your credit.

    Once you are ready to apply again, if you decide to apply for Discover, you can use my daughter's referral link here: https://www.discovercard.com/cardmembersvcs/acqs/a... That link will allow you to list things like the portion of your grants/scholarships for living expenses under “other income”, along with any wages in the “yearly income” section. You'll get $50 cashback bonus when you make your first purchase and you'll get cashback bonuses for everything that you purchase. The cashback bonus is a minimum of 1%. Every three months you can earn 5% in different categories, and they even have specials where you can earn up to 20%.

    There's no annual fee and the APR (annual percentage rate) is fairly good. It ranges from 12.99 to 18.99%. But, it really doesn't matter how much the APR is if you pay your balance in full each month. As long as you pay in full, you'll never pay interest!!

    Don't listen to anyone who tells you that you can't get a card without a cosigner before you're 21. It's simply not true. It's a matter of doing your research and finding out which cards are likely to approve you. It is not illegal (as some people on here say) to issue a card to a person under 21. The new regulations that took effect a few years ago allow each credit card issuer to determine what they consider “sufficient income”. What is sufficient for one issuer, may not be for another. So, again, do your research.

    If you use a credit card wisely, it can be a great tool. But, you can also ruin your credit, so whichever card you end up getting, just be certain to use it the right way. Use it for convenience (paying at the pump, making reservations online, etc.) and to build credit. Don't use it to buy something that you can't afford.

    Use it at least once a month for something that you need to buy anyway (gas, food, etc.). Set that money aside immediately so that you have the full amount when the statement arrives.

    Pay in full, but don't pay before the statement prints. If you pay before your cycle closes, then “zero” is going to be reported to the credit bureau as your usage, which won't help your credit score at all. Keep your utilization at, or below, 30% of your available credit to develop the best credit score. In other words, if you have a $500 limit on your card, you shouldn't have more than $150 in use when your cycle closes.

    Just don't let temptation to get to you!! It's too easy to spend money that you don't have. Be smart, and a credit card can be a wonderful tool, both to help build credit and for convenience.

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  • Anonymous
    3 years ago

    For Finance and credit solutions I visit this website where you can find all the solutions. http://your-finance.us/index.html?src=nrk24DVm1ogW

    RE :Can't get approved for a credit card? What am I doing wrong?

    I'm a 20 year old college student, working 18-24 hours a week. I've been trying to get approved for a credit card so that I can start building credit.

    I applied for a card with the local credit union that I've been a member of for the past few years and they declined my request. And then I also applied for a STUDENT card with Bank of America and they also declined.

    I didn't have a cosigner for either one. However, one of my friends was able to get a regular (non-student) card with Bank of America without a cosigner.

    Why doesn't anyone want to give me chance? None of my family members are willing to cosign. So I guess I'm SOL forever?

    Follow 5 answers

    Source(s): For Finance and credit solutions I visit this website where you can find all the solutions. http://your-finance.us/index.html?src=nrk24DVm1ogW
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  • 7 years ago

    You are doing the following things wrong:

    1. You applied too many times.

    2. You applied for a student card.

    There reason why no one will give you a chance is because you are applying for too many of the wrong things.

    A person who still needs to start building credit cannot get a "student" credit card. Only a person who already has started building credit can get a "student" credit card. Your friend was able to get a card with Bank of America because your friend applied for a regular credit card, not for a student card.

    You are not SOL forever unless you keep applying forever.

    You are SOL until you stop applying for student cards.

    You are also SOL until you stop applying too often.

    The way that a person tries to get approved is to apply only one time at only one place, and then wait more than a year before applying again, anywhere.

    Applying in more than one place is how a person tries to get denied. Because if you have a history of applying too much in a year, then they will deny you, because of your history of applying.

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  • Anonymous
    7 years ago

    As of February 2010, you have to be 21 and employed full time 12/18 months without a co-signer

    Source(s): Retired bill collector 35 years
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  • Reena
    Lv 7
    7 years ago

    You are probably one of the few that have to wait until they are 21.

    Or get a bank account with Wells Fargo and try them in about 6 months.

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  • 5 years ago

    Can't get approved for a credit card? What am I doing wrong?

    T.R.Y

    T.H.I.S.

    S.I.T.E

    W.H.E.R.E

    Y.O.U

    C.A.N

    F.I.N.D

    T.H.E

    B.E.S.T

    S.O.L.U.T.I.O.N

    F.O.R

    Y.O.U

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