Opportunities from Credit Rejection

by Scott Bilker

Q: Did you ever get a credit rejection due to having too many credit inquiries? I know people who have. What do you do about that? -Debbie, Portland, OR.

I get credit rejections all the time for many reasons. Yes, some of the rejections are due to "too many credit inquiries" but in my case it's usually because of too much available credit. However, I apply for new credit cards all the time just to see how much those banks are willing to give me. At least once every two weeks I respond to a few "pre-approved" offers. I may get rejected, but I also get accepted for many new cards-about half of the applied-for bunch! But when I do get rejections, I use them as opportunities to get a free copy of my credit report for my review.

The law requires that all credit-reporting companies, Equifax, Experian, TransUnion, etc., must send you a free copy of your credit report if it was their company's information that was used by the creditor to evaluate your application. You have 60 days to request a copy of your report. The credit-reporting company in should be named specifically on your rejection letter. Send them a letter requesting a free copy of your credit report. Make sure in your request letter you include your name, social security number, and a copy of the bank's rejection letter. Just the other day, I received one new credit card and a free credit report from a recent rejection. I haven't found that having too much credit has hurt me in getting more credit. Let's face it though, if you have too much credit, why would you need more credit? I know in your case you don't have too much credit; so get a copy of your report and make sure the information contained therein is accurate.

You may find that there are mistakes in your credit report, and that's the reason for the rejection. If so, then fill out the investigation forms that accompany the credit report and get the information straightened out right away. The credit reporting company has 30 days to look into your dispute and reply. That being the case, you can try to explain to the bank to which you were applying that there is an error in your credit report and that you're taking care of that mistake. Maybe they will reconsider your application after the credit-reporting company investigates your claim.

Scott Bilker is the author of the best-selling book Credit Card and Debt Management. He is also the creator and publisher of the FREE DebtSmart(r) Email Newsletter (debtsmart.com). DebtSmart(r) Online provides readers with the tools to be smarter about their credit cards, personal loans, car loans, mortgages, and all debts. Being "debt smart" means being budget smart, buying smart, investing smart, saving smart, and money smart. Copyright 2000 Scott Bilker. All rights reserved.

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