Why can't I get a credit card when I've had one before?

Dear James,

I recently applied for a new credit card but my application got refused. I need a credit card and I’ve been able to get them before so I don’t know why I can’t now. I was told you could tell me why I didn’t get accepted?

Leeann, Aylesbury

Dear Leeann,

This is probably frustrating for you, especially as you’ve previously been accepted for credit cards.

Importantly, each lender has a different lending criteria based on your credit report, your application form details, and any records they have about you already. Only the lender you applied to can tell you why they said no and it may or may not have been influenced by the information on your credit report.

Lenders often refuse credit because the credit score they calculated for you didn’t quite reach their pass mark for that product. To help you work out your next move I suggest you check out our interactive credit refusal guide to see what next steps you should take based on your situation.

To help avoid being refused credit in the future always use comparison and eligibility services to get an idea of who might accept you before you apply, since making lots of credit applications in a short space of time can reduce your credit score. Hopefully when you next apply you’ll be able to get the new card you want. (February 2019)


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