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What is a Conditionally Approved credit card application?

Last updated

Pauline Hatch      

If you’ve applied for a credit card and got a ‘conditional approval’ in reply, it just means that the card provider has to collect more information about you before fully approving your application.

What does ‘conditionally approved credit card application’ specifically?

When you apply for a credit card online, you may be promised ‘instant’ or ‘almost instant’ approval. After you click ‘Apply’, the card provider’s computers quickly check your credit status and the basic information you have provided. If your credit history looks good and all your info matches up, you’ll usually be told that your application has been conditionally approved.

The card company needs to do further checks to decide whether they want to provide you with credit. They’ll usually dig further into your background info, like your employment status and salary, your current debts, and your credit worthiness. If you already have a bank account or mortgage with the lender, the process can be much faster.

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What do you have to do to get a conditional approval accepted?

When you apply and get the ‘conditionally approved’ notice, you should also be given some idea of the approval timeframe and if you’ll nee to provide anything extra, or when they’ll be in contact. If you’re not sure about any of it, get in touch with the provider to check.

Once the card provider has either approved or declined your application, they’ll contact you to let you know. You might just receive the credit card in the post, along with activation instructions.

If you don’t hear anything from the card provider, it’s a good idea to contact them to find out what’s going on. They might have sent you a card that’s gotten lost in the mail, so it’ll need to be cancelled and resent.

How do you find an instant approval credit card?

There are a number of credit cards available online that offer instant approval or 60 second approval. Here’s just a few of them (check out the rest of our site to find even more instant approval credit cards).

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First Card Options

When applying for a credit card online, check the card provider’s website for statements similar to this:

“Conditional approval is subject to system availability and verification of documents that support your application.” Or “All applications are subject to —‘s credit assessment criteria.” Or “If your application is approved, it is then subject to verification. If the verification criteria is satisfied, you will receive your credit card within 5 business days.”

How to turn ‘Conditionally Approved’ into ‘Approved’

Following the simple steps below should help you avoid unnecessary delays or rejections once your card has been ‘conditionally approved’.

Get the details right and keep your credit rating intact

The idea of being approved so fast can be tempting, but it’s still important not to act impulsively when applying for a credit card. Get a credit check if you can, so you can see your score and any black marks on your credit file. It also helps you make sure you include all existing debts when you apply.

Knowing that your credit file is accurate and reflects your real debts and obligations also helps you feel confident the bank won’t discover any nasty surprises.

Fill out the application accurately and complete every section

If you have a $25,000 loan sitting on your credit file and don’t mention it on the application, don’t think that the bank won’t find out!

Have all your details on-hand when you sit down to do it

If you’re searching for your bank statements and drivers’ licence, you won’t be concentrating on your application. Read through the checklist next to the card you want to apply for, read the terms and conditions, and then get the necessary documents and info together before you start. That way, you won’t miss any vital information and the process will really only take 10-15 minutes max.

Check that what you are asking for meets all available criteria

For example, if you want to do a balance transfer of $5000 and ask for a credit limit of exactly $5000, you might be declined (or spend extra time dealing with the bank on the phone at the very least) because you’re generally allowed to transfer between 70% and 95% of the total credit limit you are approved for. In this case, you would either need to request a slightly higher credit limit, say around $5500, or put down that you only wish to transfer $4750 or less onto the new card. This is one simple error which results in an application being delayed or declined.

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Pauline Hatch

Pauline is a personal finance expert at, with 8 years in money, budgeting and property reporting under her belt. Pauline is passionate about seeing Aussies win by making their money – and their credit cards – work smarter, harder and bigger.

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Ask Pauline a Question

Hi, I’m a personal finance expert who loves to help you out! I’ll answer your question within a business day. Pinky swear.

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6 comments (showing the latest 10 Q&As)



15 February 2024
Hi Pauline, Ive recently applied a credit card and got "You've been conditionally approved". However, I've changed my mind and wont proceed with the application. I haven't upload supporting documents too. Will this affect my credit score?
    Pauline -


    21 February 2024
    Hi Errol, if you've been conditionally approved it probably means you've passed the initial credit check and the bank is awaiting more documentation - so yes, the credit check will show up on your credit history. It's not as serious as a decline though, so just be careful about how many cards you apply for from here. Hope that helps!


26 July 2023
So I applied for a credit card an mistaken put pre tax income not after tax income. Should I call the finance company or just leave it
    Pauline -


    1 August 2023
    Hi Sandler, yes I strongly suggest reaching out to the card provider right away and let them know of any changes needed on the information initially provided to them.
David Truong

David Truong

19 August 2021
Hey, so I was conditionally approved for a limit if 12k on my CommBank Platinum Awards credit card. But when the application was approved, Commbank approved it for only 11.2k. Is this normal and how do I go about getting a review on this?
    Roland B Bleyer - Founder


    20 August 2021
    Hi David, banks will base the approved credit limit on several factors. These can include. your credit score, annual income, other debts and payments among other factors. Banks aren’t generally forthcoming with their information either, which can leave us all guessing. You can reach out to CommBank directly to discuss your file and limit. If you do get a straight answer, let us know. We’d love to hear your story!

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