As some credit card applicants have experienced, there are some seemingly innocuous pieces of information in your credit report that can result in the credit card application getting denied.  Many of these little dings in a credit report that impact on a credit card application are the result of trivial or marginal actions conducted by the individual consumer.  Awareness of these actions can help supplant a turned down application with a credit card approval.

Closed Accounts

One of the most common actions that can damage an individual’s credit score and therefor hurt their chance of getting a credit card application approved is closing credit accounts that are used infrequently.  Closing unused credit accounts may seem like a responsible thing to do but this action can actually end up reducing your credit score.

Closing a rarely used account that has a long track record in your credit report can have the effect of reducing the average length of time that your credit accounts have been open.  The length of your credit history is one of the components used to determine a credit score with longer credit histories generally leading to higher credit scores.

In addition, closing an account means the overall amount of available credit has been reduced.  Reducing available credit causes an increase in an individual’s credit utilization ratio, another fairly significant component in credit score models.

Credit Report Errors

Simple errors in an individual’s credit report often surface as a cause for credit card denials. has often referred to credit reporting errors as the silent killers of credit applications.

Common errors found in credit reports include information that is not the applicants because of similar names, addresses, and related information that mixed into the wrong credit report.  These errors can be the result of similar family names or unrelated individuals.

Outdated information is often reported on accounts after the legal deadline for removing them from a credit report has passed.  Outdated data can be compounded by misreporting on collection accounts and multiple collections accounts covering the same debt.  Inaccurate payment status is a similar issue that can be common when old accounts are not updated.

Credit Inquiries

Those nasty little credit inquiries can sneak up on a credit card applicant and whack enough points off their credit score to pose a problem.  Each time a new credit card application is made, or any other type of credit request, the creditor will access or pull the applicant’s credit report.  This access results in a credit inquiry being added to the credit report.

Multiple credit inquiries will have negative impact on your credit score.  The impact of inquiries will vary depending on the overall credit profile of the applicant but, multiple inquiries will certainly reduce an individual’s score and the dip maybe enough to turn an approval into a denial.

Avoid the Little Credit Reporting Pitfalls

To avoid having these little surprises hurt your chances of getting a new credit card, check your credit report for accurate and timely information.  Checking your own credit report does not count as a hard inquiry that reduces your score and everyone is entitled to a free credit report annually from each of three major credit reporting agencies.  Furthermore, under the FCRA, both the credit reporting company and the information provider are responsible for correcting inaccurate or incomplete information in your report.

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