Credit Card Approval: How Long Does It Take?

Acquiring a credit card benefits a consumer’s finances for several reasons. First, credit cards can build an individual’s credit, whether first starting or rebuilding personal financial status. Some cards offer users cash or point bonus rewards based on a percentage of purchases. Using credit cards provides owners with the ease of making investment or travel purchases. The time it takes to get approval after filling out a credit card application varies depending on the factors involved.

Application Evaluation Process

After submitting a credit card application, the issuing company reviews the applicant’s credit history and score. Applications are commonly assessed based on consumer credit reports. Current income and debt obligations are other considerations to determine the consumer’s ability to pay for purchases made using credit. If the information entered on the application does not match the report data, further verification may be required to ensure accuracy.

When applying for credit online or by phone, companies typically approve or deny the request within a few days. Some companies may provide an answer within minutes of the submitted request. However, applying by mail may take seven days or longer before receiving a response. For example, if an issuing company approves the application, the consumer also learns when they may expect to receive the card and the credit limit’s determination.

Improving Application Approval

The experts at SoFi recommend that consumers check their credit scores before completing and submitting a credit card application. Various credit card companies often require that consumers’ credit history falls within specific parameters. Checking the score in advance gives consumers an idea of which card companies may approve an application based on their current credit score and history. 

Otherwise, time is spent needlessly applying to companies that likely deny the request. Performing the check also enables consumers to uncover and correct any mistakes in their credit history that increase the likelihood of credit denial. In addition, financial advisers typically recommend that consumers check their reports at least once each year via the website. There is no charge for acquiring valuable information.

Potential Qualification Determination Issues

Consumers must also be aware that every time a company looks into their credit history and score, the inquiry often decreases the individual’s credit score by five to 10 points. Thus, submitting too many applications within a short period may hurt a consumer’s chances of acceptance. Multiple inquiries may prove detrimental when an individual’s score is borderline between two credit categories. 

Thus, do the research and only apply for a card with a high likelihood of acceptance. Do not apply for another company’s card before learning if the first application was denied. In the event of a denial, the applicant also receives an explanation. Finally, consider making financial status corrections before making further requests to improve the possibility of being accepted.


After receiving credit card acceptance, individuals must maintain the health of their credit history and financial status. Consider repayment requirements before making large purchases. Make at least minimum payment requirements on time. Paying more than the required amount saves interest rate fees while completing the transaction sooner.

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