Why was I refused credit with a good credit score - is the Experian Credit Score different to the scores lenders use?

Dear James,

Earlier, I checked my credit score with you and it was good. But I recently applied for a loan and they refused me. I don't know why! Could you please help? Is it possible to check credit score whenever I need? If yes, how much it is?

Malarvizhi, Peterborough

Dear Malarvizhi,

As well as your Experian credit report, you can get your Experian Credit Score to help you understand how your current report is likely to affect any credit application you make. What you need to understand, however, is that this score is only a guide and is only seen by you. While this can be very useful, any lender you approach for credit will calculate its own score.  This score will factor in other sources of information as well, as well as reflecting their own specific lending policies. This additional information includes the details you give them on your application form – for example, about your job and wages – details they may already hold about you if you’ve dealt with them in the past, and details about anyone you are financially linked to. Lenders often fine tune their scoring to recruit their ideal type of customer, so it is quite possible to be refused credit even though your credit history is impeccable. This is why it’s really important to check any guidance the lender provides about the type of customers that will qualify for any particular product, to help you avoid making applications that are unlikely to succeed. In relation to your recent loan application, I would strongly encourage you to get back in touch with the loan provider and ask whether they can give you advice on why they said ‘no’. This could be helpful as it may highlight something you can work on to improve your chances of getting a ‘yes’ in the future.  (October 2012, updated March 2017)


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