Problems with borrowing

If I am unable to receive credit from a bank or credit card company, what are my options?

  • You may be tempted to try and borrow money by other means. We know from families that some borrow money just to get by, sometimes using quick cash schemes or loan sharks. Be aware that loans that are easy to acquire can be expensive to repay.
  • If you're thinking of borrowing money to clear other debts or meet your living costs, take free debt advice beforehand. There are many different types of loans and it is important to avoid loans you cannot afford to repay.  Debt advice can help you make arrangements to avoid getting into more debt. You can also check to see if you're getting all the benefits to which you are entitled.

I applied for a credit card and have been turned down but don't know why.

  • It may be because you have a low credit rating. To find out if this is the problem, ask the lender if they used a credit reference agency to decide whether to give you credit.
  • Then ask for the details of the credit reference agency. There are three credit reference agencies. All the credit reference agencies keep information about you. A lender can consult one or more of them when making a decision.
  • You can write to the credit reference agency to ask for a copy of your file. Alternatively, go to the credit reference agency's website and ask to see the report online. There is usually a charge for this information, but it is normally a small amount.
  • The information may be incorrect on file. If so, ask the credit reference agency to correct or remove the information.
  • Increasing numbers of families with disabled children are falling behind with credit card payments. If this affects you, debt advice is available.

I feel that I am being harassed by my creditors. They keep calling me very late in the evening and it's really difficult to get my daughter back to sleep. I've asked them to stop phoning me late at night.

  • If you owe money, then creditors are entitled to make reasonable demands for repayment. However, there are certain things creditors should not do, including phoning you at unreasonable times.    
  • The Office of Fair Trading has produced guidance which describes practices that it considers unfair.  It also has a leaflet that gives further advice. Been contacted by a debt collector? [PDF]