What to Do After You are Denied Credit Based on a Credit Report
If you are denied:
Credit (mortgage loan, refinancing, car loan, credit card, bank account, student loan, etc.),
Insurance (mortgage insurance, homeowners insurance, car insurance, etc.),
An apartment, or
after the creditor (insurance company, landlord, or employer) reviewed your credit reports, you have the right to receive a copy of your credit report for free. The creditor should hand or send you a copy of a denial letter that tells you the name, address, and phone number for the credit reporting agency they used to check your credit. Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, you may request a free copy of your credit report from that agency once within 60 days of the denial.
Not all creditors use Equifax, Experian, and Trans Union to review someone’s credit history. While they are sometimes called the “Three Major Credit Bureaus,” you have the right to receive a free credit report from whichever bureaus the creditor used to review your history before denying your application. Additionally, if you are denied a home loan (mortgage, home equity line of credit, etc.) based in whole or in part on your credit score, then the creditor must also provide you with the credit score and “key factors” that affected the score. 15 U.S.C. § 1681g(g).
You should request the free report, and then review all sections of it – public records (bankruptcies, judgments, tax liens, etc.), accounts (status, payment history, balance, etc.), personal information (name, address, date of birth, Social Security number, etc.), and inquiries (lists of companies that have reviewed your credit) for anything that is not correct.
If you find incorrect information, you should dispute all errors directly with the credit reporting agency. You can find use this Credit Report Dispute Kit, and we recommend that you dispute in writing with delivery confirmation – saving a copy of your dispute letters and proof of delivery for your records.
If you were recently denied credit, or found inaccuracies on your credit reports while preparing to apply for credit, you can contact our office for a free consultation to review your rights under state and federal credit reporting laws.