Why have I been declined credit?

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It's not a word many of us will welcome, but when you've had credit declined, it can be hard to know what to do next.

Whether you are relying on credit to help you through a difficult time or you are juggling different credit responsibilities such as phone bills, utilities and loan or mortgage repayments, when credit is declined it's important to understand what may have led to the decision, as well as what you can do to remedy the situation.

In order to help you better understand what happens when an application is declined, here are a few things you should know.

What happens when I apply for credit?

When you first apply for credit, credit providers such as lenders, phone or utilities companies may check your credit history alongside the information you have provided as part of your application process.

Credit providers may then assess this information against their own lending policies to determine whether you are eligible for credit.

Why have I been declined credit?

There are number of reasons why a lender may decide to decline your credit application. During the application process, you may have granted a credit provider permission to view your Equifax credit report, which can contain a record of various events such as defaults - any debt of $150 and over that has been due for at least 60 days is considered a payment default, and once listed can stay on your credit report for five years.

In addition, your credit report can also disclose information such as a poor repayment history, court writs, court judgements and serious credit infringements, as well as bankruptcy. These sorts of events may portray you in a less than favourable light to a potential lender, as do a high number of credit applications. Numerous enquiries over a short period of time can make you appear to be under credit stress, therefore deterring credit providers from approving your application.

What should I do next?

If a credit provider declined your application on the basis of information in your credit report, they will give you the details of the credit reporting agency they used to source your report.

My Credit File is a part of Equifax, so if you would like to better understand why you were declined credit, we can provide you with a copy of your Equifax credit report. This will be issued free of charge if you apply within 90 days of your application being denied.

Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is general in nature and does not take into account your personal objectives, financial situation or needs. Therefore, you should consider whether the information is appropriate to your circumstance before acting on it, and where appropriate, seek professional advice from a finance professional such as an adviser.

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To make sure you are accessing the right product, we need you to answer the following questions.

You can get a free copy of your personal Equifax credit report:

  • if you have been declined credit in the last 90 days; or
  • if you have had an item corrected on your Equifax credit report; or
  • once every 12 months.

If you do not meet the criteria, a once-off Equifax credit report is currently available for free.


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