What to Say When Applicants Don’t Meet Your Credit Standards

Editor’s note: The following article originally appeared in Credit Today, the leading publication for the credit professional, a CMA Partner. Click here for Special CMA Member $10 Trial!

Telling a new customer that they can’t get the credit they’d like is one of the most difficult — and important — things that a credit exec is called upon to do.

“Unfortunately,” says Bruce Diamond, formerly a credit manager at Horizon, “I do not think there is ever a win in trying to explain to a customer with poor credit why you will not extend credit. The explanation leads to a dialog that just goes in circles, and from my experience, usually ends with no better result than if you stick with your mantra. Mine is: According to the credit information that is available, you do not currently qualify for an open line of credit.”

By keeping your explanation very straightforward and to the point, you reduce the chance of getting into a deteriorating debate with the applicant.

The prospective customer will respond that he gets credit from others. Be ready for that. The simple reply to give is this: everyone has their own standards and unfortunately you do not meet ours.

Then stop talking and try to say goodbye.

This article originally appeared in Credit Today, the leading publication for the credit professional.
Click here for Special CMA Member $10 Trial!