• How to improve your chances of having a credit card approved

    Every bank receives a huge number of credit card applications every day, at the banks’ branch as well as online. Not every application is approved. The banks follow a set of norms to pick and approve only the applications that meet the required eligibility criteria.

    If you wish to have your application approved, then you need to provide the required documents to verify that you meet the eligibility criteria set forth by the bank.

    Here are a few items that must be on your checklist to ensure that you will get a credit card:

    Check Credit Report

    A credit report is a crucial document that states your eligibility to secure any credit product such as a loan or credit cards. Therefore, get a copy of your credit report from agencies such as Credit Bureau of Bank Negara Malaysia, CTOS, CCRIS, etc. Make sure that your credit score is favourable to get a credit card. You can also verify if all the information present in the report is valid. If not, you can dispute it and improve your score.

    In case of a low credit score, there is a high probability that your credit card application will be rejected. So, do not apply for it immediately. Check why your score is low and try to fix the issue. You can then apply for the card to get it approved without facing any probability of rejection.

    Eligibility Criteria

    Each bank defines its own eligibility criteria to own a credit card. The criteria may differ for each card offered by a bank. It includes minimum income requirement and age. For example, OCBC Titanium Mastercard requires you to earn a minimum annual income of RM24,000. On the other hand, Maybank Visa Signature card requires that your annual income must be between RM70,000 and RM100,000. However, you have to have a Maybank account to get a credit card.

    So, before you apply for a credit card, check if you fulfil the income requirement and the age criteria. If you don’t, then look for a different card, maybe from a different bank, with similar benefits. There is no point in applying for a card when you know that you do not qualify for it.

    Details on Application Form

    Make sure to state all pertinent facts in the credit card application form. Avoid making any mistakes while filling the application form. The bank will verify every small detail you have mentioned in the form and incorrect information will easily be spotted. If the form is found to contain any discrepancies, then your application will not only take longer to process but also stands a chance of being rejected.

    Incomplete Documentation

    The bank requires you to provide a specific set of documents to prove your nationality, age, income, address and employment. If you miss one of these, your application will be put on hold and the approval process will be paused. Sometimes, this can become the sole reason for application rejection. So, double-check if you have attached all the necessary documentation to the application form before submitting.

    Following is the documentation requirement as specified by Maybank:

    • A copy of both sides of your NRIC or Passport.
    • Recent BE Form with the tax receipt.
    • Latest salary slips (3 months).
    • Latest savings/current account statement (6 months).
    • If self-employed, provide copies of your business registration and related bank account statement.
    • Foreigners have to provide Employment Letter from the employer.

    Work History

    Work history is also an important criterion that is often not considered by many applicants. The bank has to be convinced that you will be capable of repaying your credit card bills in the future. As such, certain banks specify that you have to be engaged in your current source of employment for at least for a year. If you are self-employed, your business must be running for a minimum period specified by the bank.

    If you have been changing jobs very frequently or have a career gap, then you may face a tough time in convincing the bank to approve your application. In case you are a student or just passed out of college and do not have enough work experience, then you may have to look out for a student card.

    Multiple Credit Cards

    Know that applying for multiple credit cards simultaneously can be a reason for application rejection. The number of credit cards you own have a direct affect on the credit score. You can get an additional credit card if you have a good credit score. In addition, Bank Negara Malaysia has passed a policy where you can own credit cards from a maximum of two institutions if your annual income is within RM36,000. Ideally, it is good to not have more than two cards so that managing payments becomes easier.

    Also, the fact that you applied for a card and got rejected will be recorded on your credit report and will hamper your credit score. This may have a negative effect on your further loan/credit card applications. Since prevention is better than cure, make sure to be disciplined with all your payments and transactions with your credit cards or loan instalments. This will help you maintain a good credit history which will help your credit card application approval in the future.

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