Denials are Lessons and You Should Study Them #1

Recently, I went on an App-o-Rama and ended up with 4/4 denials. While someone nearing 50/24 (at the time of this app-o-rama) is likely to see frequent denials, it wouldn’t be wrong to say the frequency of future denials can be decreased by studying current denials. In this post I’ll share my study of denials and what I learned from them.

Barclay Arrival+ 50k

Why did I apply?

I had already churned Arrival+ twice (once in Q4 of 2016 and again in Q1 of 2017) so I thought I would do it again. This was before everyone found out that BC had super tightened up A+ approval.

What happened?

I had actually attempted to churn A+ previously in Q2 of 2017 but my application was instantly shot down because the system had mistakenly detected that I had an active A+ card (it was already closed for a while). This type of rejection yields no hard pull. Anyway, my attempt to churn A+ again was met with same result but this time around I knew that calling in and asking them to pull my report would make my application alive.

Unfortunately, the timing was a little off because soon after my denial I, like everyone else, found out that BC had tightened up approval of A+ to the max (DoC).

Lesson?

Ditch the idea of churning A+ for now.

Barclay Aviator 60k

Why did I apply?

I think I threw this app on same day as A+ app hoping for a combined pull. Plus 60k points on 1st purchase offer was tempting.

What happened?

Once again my application was instantly shot down because the system had mistakenly detected that I had an active Aviator card (it was already closed for a while). I did not bother requesting them for a pull on my report.

Lesson?

Probably could have asked for a pull since it was going to get combined anyway.

BoA Merrill #1 – 50k

Why did I apply?

The card was on it’s way out and it was an easy 50k offer, or so it seemed.

What happened?

I was denied due to excessive pulls on my Experian report.

Lesson?

Freeze your Experian before BoA app.

US Bank Altitude Reserve 50k

Why did I apply?

This was my 4th time applying for the card. I was trying to study their approval/denial process and the hard pulls were somewhat tolerable since USB pulls TU for me.

This 4th app in particular was done in-branch. I had heard a rumor that USB in-branch apps are reviewed by a different set of analysts and they seem to be more relaxed.

What happened?

I got a call from the banker saying my app was denied due to recent inquires and new accounts. I inquired if there could be a reconsideration and I was, as usual, given a “no”. I was once again given the usual “we would like to see 6 month payment history in your new account”.

Lesson?

Plan up and try again? I’m planning on restricting myself to applying for business accounts from Amex/Citi/Chase (they don’t report to personal report) and will try to not get any more inquires in TU (stop it chase)….but so far I’m failing.

BONUS: Merrill #2 – 50k

Why did I apply?

The Merill bonus was rumored to go away in a few days and it was my final chance to get the card. My previous application BoA application (failed Merrill #1) was within 30 days and I knew no hard pull was going to be done.

What happened?

I reconned 5 times (one analyst even recommended my app for approval) but each one of them lead to eventual denial.

Anyway, my Experian was pulled by BoA 30+ days ago so I can recon and ask them to look at a different report but I’m afraid their senior analyst is still going to eye my dated Experian report.

Lesson?

Freeze Experian! Also realized that pro-churning rule like “no 30 day new pull” can mess you up big time.

Overall Thought

Barclay thing was just unfortunate and it caught us all by surprise. If I didn’t believe I had a chance of approval I would not have asked them to look at my report.

The US Bank app was a shot in the dark. I probably should not do more of these….but I still want AR card and I might try again when my temptation for AR grows stronger.

As far as BoA denial goes, I should have looked into freezing report sooner. It is gonna suck to never have churned Merrill card…but to my defense I was out of US for the whole time online 50k offer was available.

If you want more of these then let me know.

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