Why can’t I get credit?

Dear James,

We have had debt problems but are paying everything off. Why can’t I get credit now we are getting out of debt?

Angeline, Milton Keynes

Dear Angeline,

Any lender you apply to will weigh up the information on your application form and the information on your credit report to help them establish whether you fit the profile of customer they are looking for. Lenders have different views on what constitutes an ideal customer, which they express through their credit scoring systems. If you’ve been refused credit recently you really should press the lender involved for guidance on what the problem was. There may be a specific issue, such as affordability, or it’s possible that you simply didn’t get a high enough credit score. If you’ve had debt problems in the recent past then there’s a good chance your credit report includes information about this, which may well be an issue for prospective lenders at the moment. But only the lenders can confirm this for you.

If you access your credit report through our CreditExpert online service, or by ordering a one-off copy of your statutory report, you’ll be able to review your current report to make sure everything is accurate and up to date. You’ll also be able use our free comparison tool that can help you identify deals you’re more likely to be accepted for based on your actual credit history. This could help you avoid making unsuccessful applications in the future. In time, of course, information about your previous debts will drop off your credit report altogether. (November 2012, updated April 2018)


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