Good to Excellent Credit
On an instant approval credit application, you fill in your basic information including your social security number and income. The credit card company then runs your credit report and if your credit score is good to excellent, usually between 670 and 720, you may receive an instant approval. If your credit score is not within this range, the credit card company may opt against instantly approving your application so they can further review your credit history.
If your credit score isn't bad, but aren't what creditors consider great -- usually between a 600 to 669 -- then the credit card company typically holds your application for further review. After reviewing it, they either deny or approve the application based on your credit history. If the credit card company approves your application, they may do so with a higher interest rate or lower credit limit than the original application offer.
Too Much Debt
If you have a good credit score and a credit card company does not give you instant approval for a new line of credit, the most likely culprit is that you are carrying a too high a debt load. You may be carrying too much debt if you have multiple credit cards, vehicle loans, student loans and mortgages. The credit card company may choose to approve or deny it upon further review of your application. One of the reasons for not giving you an instant approval is because they credit card company needs to compare your income to your debt payments and assess whether you will have the financial ability to make an additional credit card payment should they approve your application.
If you recently switched jobs, moved, divorced or married, the information on your credit report may not reflect these current changes. In these cases, a credit card company may not instantly approve your application because they need to verify your information. Once they verify your information, they may approve or deny your original credit application based on your credit score and history. Verifying your information is especially important at time when identity theft is so prevalent.