Being denied for a credit card never feels good — especially if you’re pretty sure you meet the qualifications for that card.
Even if you’ve been denied, though, it’s not always the last word on whether you’ll end up with a credit card. Several credit card issuers, including American Express, Barclays, Chase, Discover, and U.S. Bank, offer reconsideration lines designed to allow you to plead your case. With Bank of America, however, your best bet is to call its dedicated credit card customer service line at 800-732-9194 and request a reconsideration.
If you’ve been turned down for a credit card, here’s what you need to know about using the Bank of America reconsideration line.
What is the Bank of America reconsideration line?
When you apply for a new credit card, there’s a good chance that you’ll fill out an online application. That form is then automatically reviewed using algorithms and you receive an approval or a rejection in less than a minute. Unfortunately, this process doesn’t use a human to consider added context.
When you call Bank of America and request a consideration, you may talk to a customer service rep or credit analyst, explain items that appear as red flags, and potentially get your rejection overturned.
Also, if you have questions about a Bank of America credit card application status or need assistance, you can call the following numbers. Or if you're an existing cardmember, you can also call the credit card services line on the back of your card for assistance.
||Phone number||When to call:|
|Bank of America general customer service line||800-732-9194||To request a reconsideration or when you need assistance with your Bank of America account.|
|Bank of America credit card status line||866-422-8089||When you’re unsure about the status of a pending application.|
4 steps to take before you call
Before you call Bank of America and request a recon, you need to be prepared. Have your Social Security number handy so the rep can identify your application. Here are four other things to do before you get on the phone.
Find out why you were rejected
Your first step is to find out why you were denied in the first place. Financial institutions are required to provide you with information about why your application was rejected, as well as which credit reporting agency was used. You are entitled to a free report from that agency to review. Once you know the reason behind the failed application, you can take steps to fix the problem.
Review your credit history
Obtain a copy of the report used to make the decision. You’re entitled to a free copy, so you should be able to read your credit report and identify the problem areas. Look for items that might be additional red flags on top of the stated reason for your credit denial, including too many new accounts, hard inquiries, or missed or late payments. This is also a good time to identify mistakes in your credit report. In some cases, you might be rejected because of inaccurate or fraudulent information.
Fix mistakes on your credit report
If you do find mistakes on your credit report, it’s time to fix them. Notify the credit bureau(s) of the mistake. The major credit bureaus are Experian, Transunion, and Equifax. They are required to investigate the issue and make corrections in a timely fashion, so if you’re in the right, you might see an improvement in your credit score.
In the case of fraudulent accounts, you can request to have them removed. Report to law enforcement as well as to the credit bureaus in order to bolster your case. When you’ve taken these steps, discuss them with the person you talk to when you contact Bank of America. Let them know the problems that led to the rejection weren’t your fault and that they’re being fixed.
Make notes about extenuating circumstances
Maybe the red flags on your account are due to extenuating circumstances. You might have been going through a financial hardship and missed payments as a result. Or, perhaps, you have multiple accounts with an issuer and you can explain that one card is for your business, while the other is a personal card, and that you want another personal card. Whatever the issue, create notes that you can refer to when you call.
If you can coherently explain circumstances that led to your poor score, including items such as a medical emergency, unexpected job loss, or a divorce, you can explain how matters are resolved and you might be able to get approval after all.
Best practices for calling the Bank of America reconsideration line
After doing the research and compiling your notes, it’s time to call the Bank of America credit card reconsideration line. Here are some tips to improve your chances of success.
Remain calm and polite
This can be an emotional time, and you might be tempted to get angry. However, you’re more likely to see the results you want if you remain calm and polite. If you’ve done your research and taken good notes, it will be easier to remain calm during the conversation. Remember the other person is doing their best, and try to be kind.
Present your case clearly
Having notes can also help you present your case clearly on your reconsideration call. Be clear about why you want the card and the reasons you think you should be granted approval. Also, if there are extenuating circumstances, explain those and how you’ve reconciled the situation so that it’s no longer an issue.
This is also the time to address specific concerns. You might offer to close a credit card account if the reason for your denial is that you have too many accounts with one issuer. Another possibility is to point out that you’re a long-standing customer or that you’re willing to transfer an outside account to Bank of America.
What to do if your request is denied
Sometimes, no matter what you say, your request will be denied. However, there are some things you can do. First, you can try asking to speak with a supervisor. In some cases, you might be able to talk to someone with more decision-making ability in order to get approval. You can also try calling Bank of America reconsideration number again in the hopes that you will get a representative more willing to work with you.
If these immediate strategies don’t work, you might need to take a long-term approach to getting a credit card. Here are some things you can try:
- Improve your credit: Maybe you just need a few months to improve your credit score. Consider getting a secured credit card to help you boost your score. Make on-time payments and work to pay down debt to improve your credit utilization ratio.
- Apply for a different card: In addition to secured credit cards, there are also unsecured credit cards you can apply for. Maybe a different credit card company has less-stringent requirements. If that’s the case, you might be able to get a card with a slightly different sign-up bonus or rewards. It might not be exactly what you want, but it might be close enough for now.
- Wait and apply for the same card in a few months: If you’ve improved your score and addressed the red flags that led to your original rejection, you might get approved for the card later. Apply in a few months and see what happens.
- Call BofA in a few months: Before reapplying for the card, you might be able to get results by calling the reconsideration line again. Let them know the steps you’ve taken to address the issues, and encourage them to look at your updated credit score and report.
Alternatives to Bank of America credit cards
If you have a fair credit score, it could be difficult to get approved for new Bank of America credit cards even if you call the reconsideration line. Here are some alternatives to consider if you're working to improve your credit and are open to options from other credit card issuers:
- Capital One QuicksilverOne Cash Rewards Credit Card: The Capital One QuicksilverOne Cash Rewards Card offers straightforward cash back and a relatively low annual fee of $39. Cardmembers get unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase; plus 5% unlimited cash back on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel. With this card, Capital One might also offer a higher credit line as quickly as 6 months after account opening. Learn more.
- Capital One Platinum Credit Card: If you prefer a credit card with a $0 annual fee, the Capital One Platinum Card could be a good choice. This card does not earn rewards, but like the QuicksilverOne, cardholders get access to a useful perk: consideration for a higher credit limit in as little as 6 months after account opening. Learn more.
- Petal® 1 "No Annual Fee" Visa® Credit Card: The Petal 1 Visa Credit Card
has a $0 annual fee, and cardmembers can earn between 2% to 10% cash back at select merchants. Learn more.
What do you say to a reconsideration line?
When you call a reconsideration line, explain any extenuating circumstances or steps you've taken to improve your credit. Make a polite case for why you should be extended credit.
Why was my BoA card declined?
There are a number of reasons why your BoA credit card application may have been declined. To learn your reason, look for your adverse action notice. This notice will have the reason you were declined for credit and where BoA obtained the information.
The final word on the Bank of America reconsideration line
A credit card denial isn’t always permanent. Thanks to resources like the Bank of America reconsideration line, it’s possible to move beyond the computer and speak with a human who can look at your case and potentially change the outcome.
If you take the time to find out exactly why you were rejected and you take steps to address the problem, there’s a chance that you might be able to get that new card after all — even if your original application was denied.
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