Credit card rejection deters credit score-conscious consumers

12 November 2009 / by Rachael Stiles

Many Brits have decided not to apply for a credit card because they fear that the application might get rejected and leave a black mark on their credit score.

Almost 40 per cent of respondents to a survey carried out for Confused.com admitted that they would not apply for a credit card for fear of damaging their credit report and further reducing their chances of acceptance for credit in the future.

Those aged between 22 and 30 are the most likely not to apply for a credit card on the grounds that it could leave a black mark against their name.

But, despite the high number of people concerned about their credit report, only 25 per cent of respondents had checked their credit report to ensure that all of the information held about them was correct.

Furthermore, 12 per cent of those polled said that their credit score has actually improved over the last year.

Confused.com said that those who are not applying for a credit card are missing out on the advantages that come with responsible use of a credit card – which can include building up their credit score by meeting payments on time, or credit card reward schemes.

Commenting on the survey results, Joanne Garcia, head of credit cards at Confused.com, said that being rejected for credit is not only frustrating, "but can also leave footprints destined to jeopardise the chances of borrowing in the future."

Explaining why the 22 to 30 age bracket might be the most concerned about leaving a black mark on their credit report, she said that "the financially savvy young look to the future and see problems about not only getting a credit card or loan, but also to finding a decent mortgage."

Ms Garcia stresses the importance of getting a credit report for consumers, so that they know how likely they are to be accepted for credit, and to check that all of the information is correct.

"At the very least, people should check their credit file as they need to make sure all the information is correct," she said. "It's really worrying that three out of four people have not checked over the last 12 months"

And, for those who do have a less than perfect credit history, there is no quick fix but there are measures they can take to improve it over time and increase their chances of getting credit in the future, Ms Garcia added.

Asking for any errors to be corrected, and ensure they are on the electoral role to confirm their identity, paying off any county court judgements in full, setting up direct debits to avoid missed payments, cancelling any accounts which are no longer in use, and not making multiple applications, as this can also reduce the chance of being accepted.

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