Banks nervous of bad debt have refused 2.8 million credit card applications in the last six months, MoneyExpert.com has revealed.
Yet many of those applications were put forward by customers whose credit record does not warrant a rejection, it claims.
Around 15,555 customer applications have been rejected every day as banks formulate more stringent criteria to exclude customers who might prove a liability.
The lender crackdown was prompted by the realisation that bad debt is on the rise, with Barclays reporting related losses of £1.5 billion last year.
"Credit card companies have been badly burnt … and are putting the shutters up," Sean Gardner, MoneyExpert chief executive commented.
Young people just getting into their stride in their professional lives are most vulnerable to having an application turned down – 11 per cent of 25 to 34-year-olds have had an application refused, well above the UK average of six per cent.
But while constraining lending criteria is a step in the right direction, Sean Gardner stressed, as rising interest rates make repayment increasingly difficult, "the concern … must be that some people who genuinely need access to credit are being excluded in the general clampdown".
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