You’ve done all your research, picked your credit card, read the terms and conditions, sent through your application and it was declined. You’re probably feeling a bit confused and annoyed right now. So let’s take a look at some of the common reasons why your credit card application may have been declined:

1. Your credit score is too low

Your credit score is a number that summarises the information in your credit file. It’s an indication of your credit worthiness and the lower your score, the more risky it is for a credit provider to lend you money. Now, you don’t need a perfect credit score to get approved but you want to make sure you don’t apply for too many credit products in a short space of time and that you don’t have any negative marks (such as a default or bankruptcy) on your file.

If your credit score isn’t up to scratch, find out how you can improve it here: 5 tips that could improve your credit score. Or, if there’s some incorrect information on your file causing your score to be lower than it should be, learn about how to fix an error on your credit report.

2. Your income is too low

Many credit cards have a minimum income requirement, especially those premium cards that come with all the bells and whistles. Each credit card is different so make sure you double check that your annual income is higher than the minimum otherwise you will not be eligible to apply for the card.

3. You already have too much credit

Just because you earn a six figure salary doesn’t guarantee that you’ll automatically be approved for a new credit card. A lender will often look at your income, assets, expenses and existing credit commitments when deciding the outcome of your application.

A credit provider must lend you money responsibly. If they believe that you already have too much credit and aren’t in a good financial position to take on any more, they could reject your application.

4. You don’t meet the employment requirements

Credit providers like to see that you have a stable and ongoing employment as this gives some assurance that you can meet the repayments for a new credit card. If you are unemployed or if your employment is temporary or casual, you may not be approved for a new card.

5. You’re not an Australian citizen or permanent resident

Many credit providers have restrictions around who they can supply credit. They often specify that you must be either an Australian citizen or a permanent resident to qualify for a particular credit card.

Remember, every credit provider has their own credit assessment criteria and will look at each application on an individual basis. If your application has been declined, get in touch with the credit provider to discuss the reasons why your application was not successful. Or, if you need help managing your debts and getting your finances in order, check out Credit Savvy’s Key Resources for a list of resources and initiatives.


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