Denied A Credit Card? Try A Reconsideration Letter

Frugal Travel Guy has a story of how he was able to get a credit card for his son after the company first denied him. The magic bullet was a well-crafted “reconsideration letter.” What’s that?

Basically what you do is send back a professional letter to the address on your denial. State your case, and why you’re a good credit risk. Point out the specific factors in your credit history that show you are a good debtor. This is what Frugal Travel Guy’s letter looked like:

To: Blah Blah Blah

RE: Credit Card Reconsideration Request

To Whom it May Concern:

I was surprised to receive an online denial of my recent SPG Amex card application reference # 123456987654.

I am asking you to reconsider your decision based on the following facts:

My wife and I are both employed full time as professionals and have an annual income in excess of $___________.

Although our past credit is limited, you can see from our credit report, we have never missed a payment or been late. I know, as I checked my credit score just before applying for your card to insure it’s accuracy. I note the current credit score is 745 which is better than over 55% of the public and is considered good credit by the credit reporting agency.

We are not heavy users of credit and never plan to be, but have heard from many sources that your card is the best rewards card on the market today, and we believe we are responsible credit risks and deserve a chance with your card.

We do not need a large credit limit and would be happy with a small credit line at first to prove to you our reliability.

Although I am not including our most recent paystubs, I can send them to you if you need them.

I look forward to your reconsideration and receipt of my new Starwood Preferred Guest Amex card.

Respectfully

Josh Xxxxxxx

And it worked, his son was approved after they got this letter.

Have you ever tried a reconsideration letter? How did it go?

I’m Proud of Me Today a Successful Reconsideration Letter [Frugal Travel Guy] (Photo: the prodigal untitled13)

Comments

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  1. pgh9fan1 says:

    I thought this was a “professional letter.” If it were truly professional the author would have used “its” instead of “it’s.”

  2. pjorg says:

    Seems like this would be effective if only because the fact that you are able to put together a cogent written communication with reasonable arguments is suggestive that you have some degree of maturity.

  3. webster44 says:

    I was denied through bank of america for a small business credit card.
    I had applied for it after Advanta went out of business(Thanks consumerist for alerting us to advanta failing)

    Anyways boa denied me. I called them up(even though they say on the denial letter to send them any additional info via mail and said they needed to reconsider and basically said to them I was a great customer and they should want me.

    It worked!

  4. floraposte says:

    Hey, I did something like this years ago and had no idea it had a name. I didn’t actually get a denial, I got a stringing-me-along-and-hoping-I’d-go-away, and after several months of that I sent an overview of what I’d provided and why it met their terms. It did work. (I think it was for an AmEx, which I actually haven’t had in years.)

  5. Quake 'n' Shake says:

    One time I got banned from commenting on Consumerist because of a horrible mistake on my part. I sent an email to Consumerist explaining what I was trying to do, and that my intentions were good, albeit immature. They agreed to reinstate my ability provided that I behave myself.

    Thanks Roz!

    / True story

  6. lmarconi says:

    Great tip. I’ll have to keep this in mind for the future!

  7. wcnghj says:

    “We are not heavy users of credit and never plan to be,”

    I would have left that out, AMEX likes lots of usage AKA lots of interchange.

    • Torgonius wants an edit button says:

      @wcnghj: Dear Visa, I’m a deadbeat who will ring up plenty of late and over limit charges and carry a maxed balance generating the highest interest payments. I can haz card now?

  8. sir_eccles says:

    I did this for an airline rewards Chase card.

    I was denied because I was a recent immigrant and therefore had no credit history. I called up and discovered there was a secret address to send these sorts of letters and any extra evidence you have.

    So I wrote a nice letter and attached my credit history from the UK (managed to find it online and print it from the UK version of Experian). I got my card albeit with a slightly lower limit than I had originally applied for and now I am building credit history.

  9. nucwin83 says:

    Search online and you can find “Recon” numbers for the various banks. That’s a bit quicker than a letter. I’ve used it for two different cards (Chase and Juniper) with success. Once to get approved, once to get a higher initial credit line.

    Expect to talk about your credit history, and why you are ‘rehabilitated’. Also about your ability to pay. Shouldn’t take more than about five to ten minutes though.

  10. aggiegrad10 says:

    Citibank–American Airlines card. I was traveling a lot and wanted it. I got a “please apply” letter. I did. I was denied. I was annoyed. Not even EXPECTING it to work, I scribbled on the BACK of the letter in my terrible writing that I had good credit and really wanted this card due to the airline rewards. I added that if they didn’t want to give it to me, they shouldn’t have asked me. A couple weeks later a card with a $5000 limit arrived. It’s now $11,300 and has always been paid on time, and carries a small balance. Try scribbling!

  11. Stephmo says:

    Most of the time, these decisions are automated – they go through a series of rules set up by a risk department and are never seen by human beings.

    So there are a series of if this is met then this decision is made type paths – and in the end it’s either a YES or a NO. And it’s a good decision for a majority of the people. As in a model.

    For individuals, there are always good reasons to go against the model. The credit departments just need good reason to look at these individuals. These letters will get a set of eyeballs on your credit if it was decided automatically.

  12. jc364 says:

    First step before you do this: take a step back and carefully consider if there is a good reason you were denied the card in the first place.

    Credit card companies want to give people credit cards; it’s how they make money. So, they usually have a pretty good reason when they deny credit.

  13. adamcz says:

    “insure” is the wrong word.

  14. pecan 3.14159265 says:

    @h3llc4t, breaker of office dress codes: There’s no indication that his son is old enough to be married. He could be applying on the part of his son because he wants his son to build credit while he is young. I got my first credit card at 16 and it was in my name, but my parents applied for it.

  15. H3ion says:

    @pecan 3.14159265: Not really. The son could simply have asked his dad for help since the dad had experience in dealing with this stuff. No big deal.