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What to do if you’re denied credit

Each credit-granting organization reviews the information provided by the credit-reporting agency and makes an independent decision based on its own individual criteria.

If an account or business transaction is held in joint custody, or if you have cosigned with someone else on a loan, both parties are held equally responsible.

Sometimes, a credit grantor will deny you credit.

If you think the reasons for the denial are valid:

  • Ask the creditor if you can provide additional information or arrange alternate credit terms.
  • Apply to another creditor whose standards may be different.
  • Do the things you need to do to improve your credit-worthiness (pay bills on time, increase income, reduce spending, obtain a secured card, etc.) and then reapply.

If you are not sure whether the reason for the denial is valid:

  • Ask the creditor to explain why you were denied.
  • Review your credit history.
  • If you find your credit history contains errors, take steps to correct them.

If you believe the reason for the denial is invalid and that the creditor has discriminated against you:

  • Notify the Human Rights Commission or Consumer Affairs department in your province.
  • If you can afford it, hire a lawyer to file suit against the creditor. If the court determines that the creditor did discriminate, the creditor may be required to pay you actual damages (if any), and punitive damages.

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