My credit application was denied because of my credit report. What can I do?

Answer: If you were turned down for a loan or a line of credit, the lender is required to give you a list of the main reasons for its decision or a notice telling you how to get the main reasons.

First, find out what caused the lender to turn you down. If a lender rejects your application, it’s required under the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA) to tell you the specific reasons your application was rejected or tell you that you have the right to learn the reasons if you ask within 60 days.

If a lender rejects your application based on your credit report, the lender is also required to:

  • Provide you the numerical credit score it used in taking the adverse action and the key factors that affected your score
  • Give you the name, address, and telephone number of the credit reporting company that provided the report
  • Tell you about your right to get a free copy of your credit report from the credit reporting company that provided it within 60 days of your adverse action notice
  • Explain the process for fixing mistakes on your report or adding information to make your report more complete

If you find information in your credit report that you believe is inaccurate, you can dispute what is in the report with the credit reporting company and the company that provided the information. The credit reporting company is required to conduct an investigation and correct any errors it finds. If after the investigation you still believe that the report is wrong, you generally have the right to have a statement added to the report stating that you dispute the information.

If you were denied due to an “insufficient credit file”, you can use this checklist to learn how to build and keep good credit.

It is illegal for a creditor to discriminate in any credit transaction, including mortgages, against any applicant because of:

  • Race
  • Color
  • Religion
  • National origin
  • Sex (gender)
  • Marital status
  • Age, unless the applicant is not legally able to enter into a contract
  • Receipt of income from any public assistance program
  • Exercising in good faith a right under the Consumer Credit Protection Act (such as disputing information in your credit report)

 If you feel you may have been discriminated against, learn more about your rights under ECOA.

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