No matter what words are used or how they are delivered, rejection always stings. It's even worse when it comes from a lender. Here are the top reasons, according to, lenders turn down your loan request (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
  • I think of you as a brother

OK, we made up that last one. Still, getting turned down for credit is one of the financial world's cruelest slaps in the face. Most people's financial lives are complicated enough. Credit is one area that should -- and can -- be effortless. Wouldn't it be nice to know that when you shop for a mortgage, refinance your home, get a new credit card, or exchange FICO scores with your beloved that there are no nasty surprises? For guidance on curing credit card complications, see my recent article Dump Your Duds.

Before you court credit, see what's in your file. (TrueCredit has a $29 special for Fool readers on a three-in-one credit report, which includes your overall credit score.)

If you find that your credit score is not up to snuff, there's a lot you can do to scrub it clean. And despite the misleading spam clogging your email inbox offering to fix your credit, you don't need an outsider's help to set the record straight.