Major credit lenders often advertise boldly that they can provide an approval on a credit card application within minutes or even seconds of an online application being submitted. That sounds efficient but if you’ve applied for a card online, you know it isn’t often that easy.
If you have a six figure income and a three digit credit score of 800, it would take only second to receive an approval from most credit lenders. This is exactly the customer they want.
This is a person with sufficient income to pay bills, a high credit rating indicating they take the time to pay bills when due and this is someone who will use their new credit card. To a lender, this adds up to the perfect new credit card account.
If you have a decent income and a credit score of 760 you may be approved for a new credit card online in a couple minutes.
The lender may look closer to make sure you don’t have too much in the way of open credit available or a high debt to income ratio. To a lending bank, you appear to be a low risk applicant worth taking a chance on.
For most of us, the application process is a bit longer. When you submit the form you wait a couple minutes for an answer. Instead of an approval or disapproval, you receive a message that you will be notified by mail.
This does not mean you are denied. It tells you the lender is looking closely at your credit report in order to make a decision on your application.
What may be surprising to you is the “instant answer” advertised on the lender’s site may be replace with a delay of 30 days before you are advised of approval or disapproval of your application.
The Thirty Day Delay
The 30 day delay provides sufficient time for the lender to closely look at your qualifications and obtain additional information if needed.
This waiting period can be a shock for someone who is applying for a new credit card to use on a vacation or for special holiday use or to buy school clothes for their children this month.
Many banks that provide online card applications also provide information about how to check status on credit applications while they are in process.
If nothing else, an update may let you know whether an answer can be expected quickly or if you will have to wait for the full 30 day period to know if your new credit card has been approved.
Checking status is not as easy as submitting the initial application. Most lenders provide a telephone number to call.
At that point you navigate through an automated system which hopefully will provide updated information regarding your application for a credit card.
If the update information is not available, you have the option with most credit lenders to speak to a customer service representative.
You will be asked to provide your Social Security number, your date of birth and your Mother’s maiden name to confirm your identity as the person who applied for credit.
If you applied for a credit card through a major lender, such as Chase, where a local bank branch is available you can often check the status of your application by visiting the local branch.
If the automated system or a service rep tells you what is needed you can avoid the days of delay in sending a request to you and returning information by mail to the lender.
You may also find your request has been approved but the notification has not yet been sent. This can ease your mind as you will have some idea of when you might receive your new credit card.
Calling daily to check your status is not a good practice. You might check after two weeks have passed and if there is no update provided, check again after three weeks time has elapsed.
Frequent calls will not speed up the process and you don’t want to appear desperate to get that credit card.