Repeat applications for credit cards after being initially rejected by one lender could be damaging the credit histories of more than two million Britons.
A study by price comparison website Moneysupermarket.com suggests than nearly one in every four credit applicants has been declined before, the equivalent of over ten million UK cardholders.
This means individuals that are turned down could face a higher standard rate the next time they apply, as their credit history could be impaired as a result.
Robert Kenley, head of credit cards for Moneysupermarket.com, observed: "Our research shows Brits face a bit of a gauntlet when dealing with the credit card market."
Headline rates are offered to the lowest risk category of applicants, Mr Kenley said, and someone that has been declined by another lender is almost always regarded in a slightly higher-risk category at least.
"When consumers are finally accepted for a credit card they are often only granted a higher standard rate than they initially set out to get," he added.To read more about credit scoring, click here.
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