No matter what words are used or how gingerly they're delivered, rejection stings. (A particularly effective payback, according to thrice-married New York socialite Nina Griscom, is to throw potted plants at the rebuffer's bookshelves. He'll be vacuuming for days!)

When it comes to rejection by a lender, the best payback is to prove them wrong.

According to statistics, anywhere from 30% to 70% of credit reports contain blunders. The gaffes can be anything from errors of omission (not reporting a current line of credit) to out-of-date information (saying you still live at an old address) to outright inaccuracies (claiming you have a loan for which you never applied.)

The key is to make sure there's no real reason for a lender to snub your advances by prettying-up your credit report and making sure the details it contains are accurate. Right now, TrueCredit is offering a deal for Fools -- $5 off a report that contains your credit record from the three major agencies, as well as a free peek at your overall credit score. (For a complete picture of your credit history, you must see what each major agency is saying about you.)

Here are the top reasons, according to, lenders turn down loan requests (if you can bear reading further):

  • Serious delinquency.
  • Serious delinquency and public record or collection filed.
  • Derogatory public record or collection filed.
  • Time since delinquency is too recent or unknown.
  • Level of delinquency on accounts.
  • Number of accounts with delinquency.
  • Amount owed on accounts.
  • Proportion of balances to credit limits on revolving accounts is too high.
  • Length of time accounts have been established.
  • Too many accounts with balances.
  • And finally, the most dreaded: I think of you as a brother.

Catching and fixing the most common boo-boos doesn't have to be complicated. (Here are some pointers.) No need to have a potted plant within grabbing distance.