Credit 101

Credit Score Q&A: Does Getting Denied Credit Hurt Your Credit Score?

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Question: Cathy from Phoenix wants to know if she applies for credit and is denied for any reason, will it hurt her credit score?


The answer is no.  When you apply for credit, the lender will review your credit application and credit report and/or score to help determine if they should grant your application request for credit and at what terms (the interest rate, the credit limit, etc.).

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If they decline your request for credit, they are obligated to let you know why you were denied.  If the lender used your credit report in the decision making process, they are obligated to inform you which credit reporting agency they used to obtain your credit report(s) from, along with contact information so that you can request a copy of your report to ensure the information is being accurately reported.  This notification, often called an adverse action letter, entitles you to a free copy of your credit report from the credit reporting agency the lender used to obtain the report.

The lender does not report whether or not an application for credit is denied to the credit reporting agencies, so it will have no impact on your score.

For more on adverse action guidelines and your options for obtaining free copies of your credit reports, check out our guide on How to Get (Even More) Free Credit Reports by Gerri Detweiler.

Have a credit question? Email us at creditexperts (at) for accurate answers and honest advice from the experts at

Image by Adam Baker, via Flickr

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