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Whether on a dating app or on paper, rejections are tough! Especially when it seems like everyone else – your friends, peers, or siblings – seem to have it easy. 


A common rejection that people usually don’t talk about is credit card rejection. Having a credit card can make purchasing so convenient. No more bulky wallets or cash exchanges (especially handy in this Covid era!). So imagine finally applying for that credit card with all the benefits you love, just to receive an SMS from the bank informing you that your application has been rejected. Ouch, the ego bruise!


To be rejected by a dating app or a bank might make you think "is it me? Am I not good enough?" It’s easy to take a credit card application rejection personally because most banks don’t tell you why you’re rejected. That’s why we’re here to spill the beans so you can learn how to increase your chances of getting approved.


Not meeting the requirements


Just like when applying for a job,  a car loan or home financing, you’ll need to meet their list of requirements before you’ll get accepted. Banks are no different. Every bank has a list of “tick boxes” you’ll need to check before they will approve your credit card application. The common requirements are your current employment status, age and other factors.


What to do next time: Always be sure to thoroughly read and check the Bank’s requirements when applying your next credit card! 

Applying for a card that doesn’t match your income

Most banks will require their cardholders to have a minimum annual income of RM24k to apply for a basic credit card. Some credit cards may have a higher income requirement, so always check and apply only credit cards that match your current income or your application will more likely to be rejected. Besides, there’s no hurry, and you can always get a better card when you earn more.


Credit card tip: Don’t be disappointed if your credit card choice doesn’t match your income.  There’s plenty more options that are readily available for you! First, determine why you need a card – for easier flight bookings, you’re a Shopee-holic and want online bonus points/cashback or you need a card for easier eWallet top up/Petrol purchase? Once you’ve narrowed this down, find a tier that matches your income and submit your application. 

Not having good or any credit score


If you have a bad credit score and high debt service ratio because you have too many financial commitments (e.g. car or personal loans), banks will most likely reject your application.  


On the other hand, zero/no credit score doesn't mean having a good credit score. Just like when you’re shopping online, you would find it safer buying from sellers with good reviews than those without reviews at all, right? 

Having errors in your application

Something as simple as a blurry scan of your IC, a typo in your address or information you forgot to fill in, can cause your credit card application to be rejected. This may seem minor, but they matter very much to the bank to ensure accuracy.


We spend so much time looking at screens, from computers at work, to phones at home. Understandably, sometimes our eyes get tired and we miss a thing or two. If this is why your credit card application got rejected, don’t worry, you can always apply again. Just make sure to check carefully this time!


Getting rejected is never fun. But you can always try again! Don’t keep doing the same thing and expect a different result, though. Make sure you meet the credit card’s requirements, have a healthy credit score with a stable and sufficient income, and send in an error-free application. Best of luck!



This article is brought to you by CIMB as part of our ongoing efforts to raise the level of financial literacy among Malaysians. Financial knowledge and understanding are key to making well-informed and meaningful financial decisions that will improve all our well-being. This, in turn, achieves CIMB’s purpose of advancing customers and society.