Denied Credit

Find out what to do if you have been rejected on a loan application

When you apply for credit, your Credit Report can be an important piece of information. Credit providers may use it, along with the information on your application form and their own lending criteria, to help them get a clear picture of your credit commitments and how likely you are to be able to make repayments on future credit.

Credit providers can include banks, financial institutions, phone and utility (electricity, gas and water) companies.

Your Credit Report may be considered as part of the information that can be used to determine whether you are approved for a particular credit card, loan, mortgage or service, and on what terms.

If you have been denied credit it is best not to apply for credit again until you find out why. There are a number of factors that may result in an application for credit being refused including:

  • Not having either a high enough income or sufficient savings to meet the repayments

  • The number of other loans and other financial commitments you have

  • How secure your employment is

  • What’s on your Credit Report, in particular entries for previous bankruptcy, defaults, serious credit infringements, a high number of credit applications or a poor repayment history


If you have been declined credit and the information on your Credit Report was a factor, the lender, phone or utility company will give you details of the credit reporting body they used.

If it was Equifax, the first step in understanding why your Equifax Credit Report has contributed to you being declined credit, is to obtain a free copy of your Equifax Credit Report. If you have been declined credit you are entitled obtain a free credit report if you apply within 90 days of being declined and provide evidence that a credit provider has declined your application for credit.

By getting a copy of your Equifax Credit Report you can better understand what information may have contributed to your application refusal. It is important to check your Equifax Credit Report regularly to ensure it is accurate. You may also consider subscription plans from Equifax that provide additional features such as Credit Alerts and Credit Scores that can help you manage your credit profile.

Learn more: CreditSmart helps explain what to do when you can’t get a loan.

There are a number of reasons why a credit provider may reject an application for credit.

Each credit provider has their own lending criteria and these are the basis for their credit decisions. Your loan may have been rejected because:

  • The credit provider may be concerned that you will not be able to keep up with the repayments based on your income and current debts and financial obligations

  • The amount of money in your savings account/s is not enough to prove that you will be able to meet the loan repayments

  • The credit provider has checked your credit report and found that you have a default or other negative information

  • Your employment history. If you are unemployed, change jobs frequently or are working your way through a probationary period, you may not be able to demonstrate you can service your loan

  • Residential situation. Moving house on a regular basis can be a potential reason for a credit application refusal


Make sure you obtain a free copy of your Equifax Credit Report or you may consider subscription plans that include Credit Alerts and Credit Scores that can help you manage your credit profile.

Each time you apply for credit and a credit provider obtains a copy of your Credit Report, a credit enquiry is added to your Credit Report. Lenders and credit providers view negatively a relatively high number of enquiries made in a short space of time, as it is a potential sign of credit stress. This may in turn affect your ability to obtain credit.

However, the number of enquiries recorded on your credit report is just one piece of information a lender may consider when assessing your application for credit. Lenders look at a variety of information. For example, if you are an existing customer of the credit provider, it may take into account whether you have paid your bills (or made your loan repayments) on time.

Repayment history information, such as whether you make your credit card and loan repayments on time as well as any variation of repayment arrangements as a result of financial hardship will usually be recorded on your Credit Report. One late repayment – depending upon how late it was – probably won’t significantly impact your creditworthiness. But several late payments can indicate you are in financial stress and may make credit providers wary of providing credit to you.  

Because they are not licenced credit providers, telecommunication companies and utility providers can’t list information on your Credit Report unless you are 60 days or more overdue with a payment. 

Under the Privacy Act 1988, an overdue debt or default can only be listed on your Credit Report if it is overdue by 60 days or more and totals $150 or more. Defaults are viewed negatively by credit providers and can impact your ability to get credit in the future.

If there is a new arrangement in place that is wholly and partially related to any of your defaults, this will also be displayed in the Overdue Accounts section of your credit report.

If you have had a default in the past but have paid it and established a good repayment history, a lender may view your Credit Report more favourably. This is one of the benefits of comprehensive credit reporting.

If you have an overdue debt, where you have left or appear to have left your last known address, it can be listed as a serious credit infringement. This information is viewed negatively by credit providers and can impact your ability to get credit in the future.

If you can’t meet your monthly loan repayments or financial commitments in relation to your phone or utilities contracts, it’s important that you act quickly.

Firstly, talk to your credit providers and find out if they’ve got procedures in place to help customers experiencing financial hardship. If you talk to them before you default, you may avoid having a default listed on your Credit Report.

If you need financial advice or legal counselling, there are a number of free services offered by community organisations, community legal centres and some government agencies that may be of help.

If you’ve been denied credit by one credit provider and you continue to make a number of applications, the resulting enquiries on your Credit Report can negatively affect your chances of obtaining credit in the future.

Under comprehensive credit reporting, information on when an account is open and closed can also be held on your Credit Report. This, together with your repayment history, can help lenders get a clearer picture on your credit obligations and can be taken into account in their assessment of a credit application you make.

If you’ve been refused credit, you have a right to obtain your Credit Report free of charge within 90 days of being declined credit.

Learn more: CreditSmart helps explain what to do when you can’t get a loan.

If you’ve been denied on an application by a credit provider and they advised that information on your Equifax Credit Report was a factor the first thing to do is to get a free copy of your Equifax Credit Report.

If you have been declined credit, you are entitled obtain a free Equifax Credit Report if you apply within 90 days of being declined.

Once you have a copy of your Equifax Credit Report you can better understand what information may have contributed to your application refusal.

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