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Why might an application be turned down?

Why might an application be turned down?

Applying for credit – eligibility

We may ask you to complete an eligibility check before you complete a full credit card application. This will help us to determine if you’re eligible for the card you’re applying for, without affecting your credit record:

  • Less form filling – save time by completing a short form to check your eligibility before completing a full application.
  • Protect your credit rating – our eligibility check won’t show on your credit record as an application for credit, so it won’t affect your credit rating, or your ability to obtain credit.
  • Best alternative – we may present you with an alternative credit card, which you’re more likely to be eligible for.

Please note: we’ll only complete a full credit application search if you go on to submit a full credit card application. You can still be declined based on the information you supply after your eligibility check.

Your details – please provide accurate information - remember your credit record will highlight any discrepancies.


You're more likely to be approved by us if you:

  • Are aged 21 or over.
  • Have a good credit record and a positive history of managing credit well.
  • Have not been bankrupt or had a CCJ or IVA registered against you in the last 6 years.
  • Have at least 3 years of permanent UK address history.
  • Are on the electoral register.

Affordability – as a responsible lender, we assess what you can reasonably and sustainably afford to repay, taking into account factors including your income and the total amount of credit already available to you. This may also affect our decision.


About your credit record

Your credit record is used to assess the risk of offering you credit - it indicates how well you have managed your existing financial commitments. The better your rating, the better chance you'll have of being approved for a credit card or loan.

These are some of the factors which can affect your rating:

  • Outstanding credit card and loan balances (in relation to your income).
  • Failing to make payments on time to existing lenders.
  • A high level of credit already available to you.
  • Short credit/repayment history.
  • A history of bankruptcy.
  • County Court Judgments (CCJs) or Individual Voluntary Arrangements (IVAs).


Improving your credit record

  • Keep up with existing credit repayments - this shows you're managing your commitments responsibly.
  • Make sure you're on the electoral register - this is widely used to verify your address.
  • Defaults and CCJs will still show on your credit record, but are viewed less negatively if they’re settled.
  • Check your credit report regularly and ask the relevant credit reference agencies to correct any inaccurate information.

Learn more about healthy credit


I’m not eligible – why?

When completing an eligibility check, we consider the following:

  • The information you provide for the eligibility check.
  • Information held on your credit record.
  • Information we hold about you as a result of an existing or previous account relationship.

If you’re asked to complete an eligibility check, it won’t affect your credit rating, or your ability to obtain credit in future, as we only register a ‘quotation search’ on your credit file, which other lenders can see but ignore when making lending decisions.


I’ve been declined

Your application history can be seen by any organisation viewing your credit file. Please be aware that multiple applications in a short period can negatively impact your credit rating, which may discourage lenders from offering you credit.

You can get a copy of your credit file from a number of sources, including:
Should your circumstances change we may consider an application from you again in the future.


Other advice and support

You could also contact the Money Advice Service, which is an organisation set up by the government to offer free information and unbiased advice about money matters. You can contact them via or by calling 0300 500 5000.


Can I appeal a decision?

We believe the decision to be correct, however, if your full application was not successful, you’re entitled to appeal this decision.

If you’d like to do this, or you’ve got additional information supporting your application, please write to us. Remember to include your contact number in your letter.

MBNA Card Services,
PO Box 1006,
CH4 9WW.

Please note this process may include a further credit search being carried out which could be recorded on your credit file.

Please note: the content of this page is not intended to be taken as financial advice or recommendation from MBNA. You should seek independent financial advice if you're unsure about your financial needs.