Credit Card Approval

My credit score is 743. Every time I apply for a credit card I'm denied. I'm told I have too many balances on cards. I have two credit cards only totaling less than $2,000. I'm not sure what the problem is. I own a home, I make $85,000 on my own and I also have income coming in from my husband. What am I to do? Good credit, almost no credit cards, and I'm never late with anything. Any suggestions?

Welcome to the credit card marketplace's new normal. Before 2008, a credit score of 720 or higher would have guaranteed you access to most of the best credit cards on the market. Today, you'll need more than 800 points on most credit-scoring systems to get your pick of the best deals. That doesn't mean you're stuck [...]

Can I include my spouse's income on a credit card application?

For most of the past few years, I would have had to tell you "no." After the credit crunch of 2008 inspired a tighter set of federal banking regulations, lawmakers forced banks to get strict about offering new credit only on the basis of a customer's ability to repay a balance from their personal assets. In [...]

Do you need a job for a credit card?

Ever since lawmakers passed the Credit CARD Act of 2009, regulators have required banks to only issue credit to borrowers with a demonstrated ability to repay. For most of us, that means reporting income from a job. However, thanks to a recent clarification of those rules, more Americans can qualify for credit cards, even without [...]

Can I have more than one credit card from the same bank?

Yes, you can have more than one card from a single issuer. However, the extra account carries both pros and cons. A few situations could warrant opening a second (or third) credit card with the same bank. For instance, you may have started a relationship with your bank at a time when you only qualified for [...]

Is there such a thing as too many credit cards?

Having plenty of credit cards won't hurt you, as long as you manage your personal finances perfectly. You'll have to judge whether the extra value you get from carrying so many rewards credit cards outweighs the hassle of keeping track of so many statements and payments. Contrary to popular belief, most credit scoring algorithms measure how [...]

My wife and I both pay the mortgage payment. If I only list my individual income, what do I put for mortgage payment? Half the monthly payment?

As you've probably already noticed from looking at your credit card application, federal rules require lenders to approve or deny your new account based on your ability to repay your debt. Under regulations imposed by the Credit CARD Act, banks must ask about your individual income, not your household income. What you answer on your [...]

My credit score is 678, I was turned down by Capital One because of "insufficient income". What to do?

Q: My credit score is 678, I have no other credit cards except a gas card that I pay off each month, recently went through a divorce, and was turned down by Capital One because of "insufficient income". What to do? A: Due to recent credit card reform, you personally must demonstrate sufficient income in order [...]

I have two credit scores that are 723 and 724, and I have another credit score 711. I was denied a limit increase. How could that be?

That is a bit surprising, but lenders are still being pretty careful about their loans, to put it mildly, ever since the economy tanked in 2008. It may be that while your credit scores from the three major credit bureaus (Experian, Equifax and Transunion), are very good, and your credit history may be impeccable, your [...]

I applied for a credit card but was turned down. Can I apply for a different card, or do I have to wait?

Q: I applied for a credit card but was turned down because the bank owns three of my credit cards, and I was told they had offered me the maximum amount of credit allowed. Can I apply for a different card at another bank, or do I have to wait? And will this hurt my [...]

I am about to get a job soon, paying at least $33,000 annually. Right now, I make $11,000 a year. Should I wait to apply?

Q: I am about to get a job soon, paying at least $33,000 annually. Right now, I make $11,000 a year. Should I wait to apply? A: Yes. Si. Oui. Da. And, boy, I'm not much of a linguist. But, yes, absolutely wait. In theory, if you're making $11,000 a year, and you've kept your nose clean [...]

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