Capital One Venture - Excellent Credit - Denied W/ No Valid Explanation

Capital One Venture - Excellent Credit - Denied W/ No Valid Explanation
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My sister recently finished grad school and was looking for my advice on a credit card with better perks than the old ones she currently has. She has a credit score of 770, average credit age of over 4 years, never missed a payment, no balances, etc. At my recommendation, she applied for the Capital One Venture card and was denied. They refused to give her any information until her rejection letter came in the mail. When it did, it said she was denied “Based on your credit report from Trans Union, length of credit history”. Her history is over 4 years, on average, according to her TransUnion credit report. Capital one doesn’t have a recon line that I’m aware of, so I had her call these two numbers:

Application Services: 800-625-7866 General Customer Service: 800-951-6951

She called and spoke with a rep and then also a supervisor who both refused to give her any information and told her that the reason she was denied is confidential. She kept pushing, politely, but they gave her zero information whatsoever and the supervisor just read from a script and kept repeating the information is confidential. I’m pretty well-versed in the world of credit cards and have never heard of anything like this, especially considering her strong credit. Any idea what’s going on here and what she can do about it?


Hi, nshuman, and welcome to NerdWallet :wave:

That does seem pretty strange! A four year credit history doesn’t seem egregiously short to me, especially with a strong score.

Has your sister applied for any other lines of credit in the past few months?


Maybe one of our credit card specialists will weigh in, but in the meantime here’s a story that might help about how to respond to a rejection:

Tl;dr version is that she can ask CO to reconsider, or apply for a card she’s more likely to get. I agree with @sara that four years doesn’t seem egregiously short, but there could be other factors that went into the mix, such as income.


hi @sara and @lweston, I appreciate the responses.

No, she has not applied for any other lines of credit in the past year, and her income is $70k, which should be more than enough to be approved for the card. She has a low debt to income ratio, no balances, no late payments, etc. Nothing on her credit report raises any red flags whatsoever from what I can tell. The letter she received specifically mentioned “length of credit history” from TransUnion, so unless they made a mistake I’m not sure what other factors could be at play. She’s had credit cards open for over 8 years, and the average age of the accounts being over 4 years should be more than plenty (I was approved for cards with more stringent requirements with a lower average age).

I considered telling her to apply for an easier card, but based on the fact that she already more than meets all of the requirements for the Venture card, I’m just wondering if there’s something else at play here that we’re not aware of. We’re also concerned that if we have CO reconsider it will just be another hard pull with the same results…


Hi @nshuman21
I’ll say, your sister does seem qualified for most credit cards. Ultimately, though, card issuers make decisions based on their internal criteria – and for whatever reason, the combination of factors on your sister’s application made this particular issuer focus on length of credit history.

“Length of credit history” as cited in her rejection letter could refer to several different things – how long she has been using credit, the average age of her open accounts, and how long it has been since she last applied for credit. Card issuers are especially sensitive to applicants opening multiple accounts within a relatively short period of time (even within 2 years).

If she has already called and asked for reconsideration and has still been denied, then she should probably let this drop. She shouldn’t take it personally, though. “It’s not her; it’s them.”

In the meantime, there are several other cards that work just like the Venture – you earn points that you can then use for any travel expense. See our roundup of best travel cards for options.

Many issuers offer pre-qualification, so she can see whether she has a good chance of being approved before actually applying and without triggering a hard credit pull. This article discusses the prequalification process. It’s written for people with bad credit, but the same principle applies to anyone.

Sorry she’s had so much trouble. But you’re a pretty great sister for helping her out!


So funny, because I was just thinking this is like the guy who should think you’re a catch but ghosts you instead! And the best response is exactly the same: figure it’s their loss, and move on.