I remember the first time I applied for a credit card. I wanted to buy my school books on Amazon.com, and they had this big banner on the website that said I could get a 10% discount if I bought my stuff with their Amazon.com credit card. So I clicked the link and filled out the credit card application. Then my computer waited for a minute…and came back with the result:
I was denied.
That really pissed me off. It was embarrassing, and I felt ashamed somehow. I understand now that I had no credit history at that point, so I was not a good credit risk then. But it still made me angry. It was an insult: I had been measured and found wanting.
So what do you do if this happens to you? The first thing you need to do is read their denial notice. By law, they are required to provide you with a notice of their decision on your application within 30 days of the application. The denial notice must tell you why they denied you. If they don’t give you a statement of reasons or the denial was based on a reason that is bogus or discriminatory, you need to contact a lawyer. Note that even if they don’t directly intend to discriminate – if the effect is discriminatory, they could be violating the Equal Credit Opportunity Act.
If the denial was based on a credit report, the denial notice must tell you whose credit report they used. They should provide the name and address of the credit reporting agency that gave them your report.
Write a letter to the credit bureau demanding a copy of the report that was used in the denial. LINK UPLOAD DENIAL EXAMPLE. They have to provide it to you free of charge. If they don’t, call me.
Read the credit report. Make sure everything is accurate. There very often are false items that drag down your credit rating. You have a right to remove or modify anything that is not accurate.
Dispute everything that is false. Be clear, but concise. Keep copies of everything.
They have 30 days to process your disputes and either remove the negative info, change it to make it correct, or tell you why they’re leaving it as it is.
If they fail to fix it after you’ve disputed it, you can take them to court for the damage they’ve caused to your reputation and creditworthiness.