Do you have a question about consumer credit? You may find an immediate answer by using the search engine. If you can't find what you're looking for, please fill out the form, being as specific as possible.
Please note: The Ask Experian team cannot respond to each question individually. However, if your question is of interest to a wide audience of consumers, the Experian team will include it in a future column.
The information contained in this column if for educational purposes only and is not legal advice. You should consult your own attorney or seek specific advice from a legal professional regarding your particular situation.
Please understand that Experian policies change over time. Column responses reflect Experian policy at the time of writing. While maintained for your information, archived responses may not reflect current Experian policy.
Topics addressed on April 27, 2011:
Why you may be declined even with no late payments
If it says on my report that I have zero negative items and zero accounts in good standing why would I be denied a credit card if I pay my bills regularly. Nothing is behind as far as I can see.
Being behind isn’t the only thing that indicates credit risk and may negatively affect credit scores.
While you have zero negative items, you also have no accounts in good standing. That suggests you have little or no active, recent credit history. With no credit history there may be insufficient information upon which to base a lending decision.
Recent credit activity is necessary for predicting lending risk, and therefore, for calculating credit scores.
You say that you pay your bills on time, but you don’t say what those bills are. Apparently, they are not bills for credit card or installment debt. Paying utility bills, cellular telephone bills, or other monthly fees is not reported to the national credit reporting companies, and so don’t help you qualify for a credit card offer.
Ask your bank or credit union if it can work with you to open a credit account. Even a small installment loan can help get you started. A positive payment history is the first step toward qualifying for a new credit card account.
Thanks for asking.
- The "Ask Experian" team