- One in 20 were declined three times or more.
- Young people, Londoners and parents or guardians the most likely to be turned down.
- Money and Pensions Service says people should “stop, take a breath and reassess” before making any more applications if they’re declined.
A survey of 2,236 adults, carried out by Ipsos on behalf of the Money and Pensions Service (MaPS), showed a fifth (19%) saw their application for credit turned down between April 2022 and April 2023.
One in 20 (4%) said they’d been turned down on three or more occasions.
The results, which included all credit except mortgages, also showed some were more likely to be declined than others.
Those who were refused tended to be younger, with 18-24 year olds (36%) and 25-34 year olds (35%) the most likely. Londoners were the likeliest by location (31%), with residents of the East Midlands (10%) the least likely.
Parents or guardians (30%) were also twice as likely to be declined as those without children (14%).
Asked why, respondents said the main reasons they were given included “poor credit history” (38%), “couldn’t afford the repayments” (28%) and “having too much other credit (19%). Just 10% said they weren’t told why.
Two in five (42%) said a tool showing their chances of acceptance would be useful next time, while 38% wanted tips on improving their credit score. A quarter (26%) would value information on finding alternative forms of credit.
Responding to the findings, MaPS said people should take some time if they’ve been declined for credit. Multiple credit applications can seriously affect both your credit rating and the interest rate you’ll be offered in the future.
It also said that for people looking for borrow to repay other debts or spend on bills and essential living expenses, now might be the time to look closely at your budget and access MaPS’ cost of living guidance.
Available via its free MoneyHelper service, the guidance offers tools like a budget planner and Bill Prioritiser, whilst also signposting to additional Government support.