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Do you have a poor credit history or have you been refused finance? If the answer is yes, don't worry just yet. Applied Leasing Ltd have put together this short guide to help you figure out what to do next.

Do you have poor credit history? Have you been refused finance?

Firstly, vehicle finance is a form of credit - essentially like a loan or credit card. Finance companies will always check your credit history before accepting your application. If you have a County Court Judgement (CCJ), been declared bankrupt, have entered into an Individual Voluntary Arrangement (IVA), been declined finance in the past or missed payments on your mortgage or credit cards, it will be held against your credit history. A poor credit history will affect the likelihood of you receiving a finance acceptance. But all is not lost.

Credit Scores

Note: A finance house must provide the details of the credit reference agency but are not obligated to explain why you failed finance

There are 3 main credit reference agencies in the UK – Equifax, Experian and Call Credit. Each credit reference agency uses their own visual scale to provide its users with an individual’s credit score: usually 5 bands ranging from “very poor” to “excellent”. Finance houses will ask one of these 3 credit reference agencies for your credit score upon application and will generally accept anything from “good” to “excellent” but decline anything with a lower score. If you are unsure what your credit score is then it might be worth checking it with one of the credit reference agencies before you apply for finance.

What to do if you have been declined finance

Note: A finance house must provide the details of the credit reference agency but are not obligated to explain why you failed finance

If you have applied for finance through Applied Leasing and been declined, then we will contact you to discuss your options. We can also tell you the credit reference agency that was used as part of your search – should you wish to find out why or appeal. 

If you feel the decision to decline was unfair or based on incorrect information, you have the right to appeal. To do this you will need to supply a copy of your personal credit file and any further information to support your claim, such as bank statements. Your sales consultant will be able to discuss this further with you, should you need assistance. 

If you feel the decision was correct and need advice on how to improve your credit score; the Citizens Advice Bureau offer a wide range of information regarding borrowing money and what to do if you have been refused credit. You can visit their website or visit your local branch for further information. 

Being declined for finance is not the be all: end all. There are a couple of other options that may be available to you depending on your circumstance.

Joint Applications

There are some finance houses that will not accept joint applications so please speak to one of Applied Leasing’s sales consultants before considering this option. However there are a finance houses that do allow joint applications - where you and a spouse or family member apply for the finance together, but they have a few stipulations: 

  • You can only apply for a joint application with someone who is living at the same address as you. 
  • Both applicant’s incomes and credit scores are considered before approval is granted. Both parties are responsible for the repayments. 
  • Both parties are responsible for the repayments.

If you feel this may be an option for you, please call one of our team on 0800 525 209 to discuss this further. 

Note: If you and your partner split up before the end of the contract, the payments must continue to be paid on time or the credit scores of both parties will be adversely affected.


A guarantor is a third party who will be responsible for the vehicle finance repayments if the main applicant defaults. Most Finance Houses will not accept a guarantor when applying for vehicle finance, however it is entirely dependent on the finance house and dealt with on a case by case basis. If the Finance House do accept the application, they generally require the guarantor to be a family member and have a very strong personal credit file. 

If you would like to discuss this option further, please speak to an Applied Leasing sales consultant, who will be happy to help. 

Note: If the contracted monthly rentals are not received on time, the credit score of the applicant and the guarantor will be affected.

What is Accommodation Finance?

The term accommodation finance refers to a person applying for vehicle finance on behalf of someone else and will not be the main driver of the vehicle. Such as a parent taking out a lease for their son or daughter. 

Whilst this may seem like a perfectly plausible option, it is strictly forbidden by all finance houses. This is because there is a much higher risk of the finance company not being able to get the car or their money back in the event of a contract breach. 

Whilst accommodation finance is not, itself, illegal, it is illegal if the person taking out the lease does not declare that they are not the main driver. In this instance both parties could be charged with fraud or at the very least they will have a black mark against their credit scores. 

If you are still unsure about how to proceed with your application, please do not hesitate to contact one of our friendly and experienced advisers on 0800 525 209. We are always happy to help.

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