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Can you cancel a credit card application?

minute read

    There are plenty of credit card options out there — it can be hard to decide on just one. Even when you do decide on a card, you might realize you want to back out and apply for something else. Perhaps your financial plans have changed or you were going to need a credit card to make a large payment, then decided against it.

    You can cancel a credit card application, but there are some nuances to the process. In this article, you will learn about:

    • How to cancel a credit card application
    • When is the best time to cancel a credit card application
    • If canceling a credit card application affects your chances of getting another card
    • What to do if you can’t cancel a credit card application

    How to cancel a credit card application

    Time is of the essence when it comes to canceling a credit card application. When you apply for a credit card, the approval process can happen in a matter of minutes.

    To cancel, call the issuer (for example, the Chase customer service phone number) as soon as possible. You may be able to find their phone number through a quick search on the internet. You may be directed to a customer service representative, where you can ask to cancel the credit card application.

    Credit card issuers don’t require a lot of time to run a hard inquiry — credit check to determine your eligibility and rates — to decide on your approval. When a hard inquiry has been run, it’s too late to cancel your application, so you’ll want to cancel as soon as possible before this occurs.

    If the application is still pending, you may be able to cancel it. Be sure to check with the person you’re speaking with about receiving a notification that the application has been canceled. Depending on the issuer, this may be in the form of an email or text.

    When is the best time to cancel a credit card application

    Because it doesn't take much time to kick off a hard inquiry to get your approval status, it’s best to cancel your application as soon as possible. If you plan to cancel, do so right away to increase your chances of canceling your application before the final decision on approval is made.

    Will canceling a credit card application affect your chance to get another card?

    Credit card applications require running a hard inquiry. When this happens, it’s possible that your credit score could decrease by a few points. Don’t worry the impact usually won’t be much. You should be able to apply for other credit cards as long as your credit score is in good standing.

    However, a lowered credit score from a hard inquiry may affect your chances of getting more exclusive cards. A small difference in your score can be what prevents you from getting a credit card that requires a specific, high credit score, such as a travel rewards card.

    What to do if you can’t cancel credit application

    If you aren’t able to cancel the application and you get approved, then you will have a card that’s approved for use. From there, think about some of the options you have at your disposal.

    Close the card

    If you feel strongly that this isn’t the card for you, it’s possible for you to close the card altogether. Doing so, however, could hurt your credit score. This is because you will be losing a new line of credit, which usually affects your credit utilization ratio as well as your credit mix and credit history.

    Keep and use the card

    You could also keep the card. Even if this wasn’t the card of your choice, keeping the credit card account open could help improve your credit score if you pay your balance in time. Even occasional use of the card might help diversify your credit mix.

    Upgrade or downgrade the card

    Depending on the credit card and the issuer you’re working with, you might be able to upgrade or downgrade the card to fit your needs a little more precisely. For example, you might be able to request to downgrade your card to one that comes with no annual fee. On the other hand, you may be able to upgrade the card to get access to more rewards opportunities or a higher credit limit.

    In conclusion

    The credit card application and decision process can happen quickly, and if you’re not careful, you could potentially hurt your credit score for a card you don’t want. If you wish to cancel your credit card application, you will need to act fast and prepare for the possibility that you may be too late and will need to make adjustments after the fact. Regardless of what situation you are in, you can try to maintain a healthy credit score.

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