Consumers who are declined for credit are provided a disclosure often referred to as an Adverse Action notice. Although the format of the notice may vary from lender to lender, it should at a minimum include information about why or how you can obtain the reasons you were declined.
In general, this triggers a written notice from the lending institution informing you of the specific adverse action taken, the reasons why, your right to a free credit report, if requested within 60 days, and other information to improve your chances of getting the credit you seek in the future. Since 2011, when a credit score is used in taking an adverse action, the notice sent by the lender must include the credit score used in making the decision and other related information. See Figure 1 below for a sample Adverse Action notice.
Thank you for your recent application for an XYZ Bank credit card. Your request for a credit card was carefully considered, and we regret that we are unable to approve your application at this time, for the following reasons:
Your Credit History:
The consumer reporting agency contacted that provided information that influenced our decision in whole or in part was
The reporting agency played no part in our decision and is unable to supply specific reasons why we have denied credit to you. You have a right under the Fair Credit Reporting Act to know the information contained in your credit file at the consumer reporting agency. You also have a right to a free copy of your report from the reporting agency, if you request it no later than 60 days after you receive this notice. In addition, if you find that any information contained in the report you receive is inaccurate or incomplete, you have the right to dispute the matter with the reporting agency. Any questions regarding such information should be directed to the reporting agency listed above.
If you have any questions regarding this letter, you should contact us at
We also obtained your credit score from this consumer reporting agency and used it in making our credit decision. Your credit score is a number that reflects the information in your credit report. Your credit score can change, depending on how the information in your credit report changes.
Your Credit Score: 647
Date: July 21, 2011
Scores range from a low of 336 to a high of 843
Key factors that adversely affected your credit score:
If you have any questions regarding your credit score, you should contact ABC Credit Reporting Agency that provided the credit score at:
Notice: The federal Equal Credit Opportunity Act prohibits creditors from discriminating against credit applicants on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, marital status, age (provided the applicant has the capacity to enter into a binding contract); because all or part of the applicant’s income derives from any public assistance program; or because the applicant has in good faith exercised any right under the Consumer Credit Protection Act. The Federal agency that administers compliance with this law concerning this creditor is:
Another Town, USA
Figure 1: Sample Adverse Action notice. Actual notice may vary.
While the exact content of an Adverse Action notice may vary by lender, or by the event that triggered the notice, the document will likely contain the following:
There is a wide range of reasons that could prompt an Adverse Action notice, many of which are based on your credit history such as:
The FICO® Score Factors Guide provides more information about how to interpret the reasons you your FICO®Score was not better so you can understand how to improve your credit standing.
It’s important to note that errors on your credit report may result in a less desirable credit decision from your lender, including a higher interest rate or being declined. Periodically checking your credit report from each of the nationwide credit reporting agencies will help you keep your credit history in shape and ensure you get the best results possible given your score.