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Credit Card Applications » Questions » User Questions » Limited/Bad/Fair Credit » I have a bankruptcy which was dismissed late last year; I applied for an Orchard card and ...

I have a bankruptcy which was dismissed late last year; I applied for an Orchard card and was amazed that I was approved, but I then applied for a different credit card and was denied. To this day am still being denied, even for First PREMIER cards. What am I doing wrong, and how come I can’t get approved for these cards to help my credit that much more? I have a few other cards that I have been staying on top of and my credit is slowly going up, but I want to know what I can do to get these companies to approve me.

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Leo Zhu

Sounds like you need to slow down a little bit! With a bankruptcy filing in the past year, your credit is going to be on the mend for several years to come – you need to be careful how you proceed.

First of all, your assumption that being approved for more credit cards is the best way to help your credit score is untrue. In fact, your frequent credit card applications may be dragging your credit score down further. Each time a hard inquiry is made to your credit report (such as when you apply for a new credit card) it can affect your overall credit history. So if you are turned down for a credit card, it’s a good idea to wait at least six months before trying again – and in the meantime, monitor your credit score so you have an idea where you stand.

Orchard cards are well-known for approving people with poor credit, so it’s not very surprising that you were able to get a card from them, and while First PREMIER also frequently approves customers with bad credit, the fact that you were turned down by them is a warning sign that you should take a break from applying for more credit right now. You shouldn’t be in a rush to get more credit cards right now.

If you’re making consistent payments on the cards you do have, that’s a start toward repairing your credit score. Here are a few ways that you can help your score even more:

  • Keep purchase amounts small and manageable. The less of your credit line in use, the better. Maxing out cards hurts your credit score, so do your best to pay off cards in full each month and not keep a revolving balance.
  • Always make payments on time. This can’t be stressed enough – consistent on-time payments will help your credit score, and late payments are one of the biggest credit-score killers.
  • Don’t apply for more credit than you need. You shouldn’t be using credit cards to live beyond your means. If you can’t afford to pay off your credit cards in full each month, you need to take a long hard look at your budget and reevaluate your financial plan.
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