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Why have I been refused credit?

Tom Martin
Written by Tom Martin, Content editor

5 September 2018

Q: I've been refused a credit card, how can I find out why?
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Answer: Being refused a credit card can understandably make you feel a little jilted and snubbed. To make matters worse – the bank won’t give you detailed feedback on why it deemed you ‘unworthy’.

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The snub might not be anything major to worry about as every lender has a different way of calculating who is a risk and so another may be happy to have you on-board.

But don’t make another application until you’ve uncovered the reason as every time you apply, a footprint will be left on your credit score.

Why the rejection?

There are a variety of reasons why you could have been refused a credit card, making it hard to pinpoint the cause. One could be if you’ve missed any payments as this could have made a mark on your credit report and make you look unreliable to a potential lender.

This could be anything from a loan or credit card repayment, mobile phone contract or missing a mortgage payment.

Other reasons could be if you’re not registered on your local electoral roll or you have financial ties to anyone with a bad credit history. The lender will also take into account how many bank accounts you have and how much debt you currently hold.

You may also be victim of not even having a credit history - good or bad. Many young people struggle to get their first credit card as lenders have no evidence of whether they can trust them or not.

Do a little digging

The best way to do this is to check your credit rating through the big credit reference agencies such as Experian’s Credit Expert, Callcredit and Equifax. You will need to check with all the major agencies to get the full picture as lenders use different ones.

These agencies will share with you your individual credit report. This is a personal history of all the credit you’ve had, including loans, mortgages, credit cards, and mobile phone contracts and is what lenders use to assess if you’re a worthy lendee.

Getting hold of your credit report costs just £2 per credit reference agency. Some agencies however will give you a free trial to lure you into signing up to their paid-for service which will then cost you a monthly fee.

Making use of a free trials or paying the £2 for the report could be a great way to take a glimpse before applying for credit again. You can then work on rectifying any issues or turning your attention to credit cards for those with a bad credit rating while you try to improve it.

Compare bad-credit credit cards

Been refused credit in the past? Compare credit cards to improve your credit rating.

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