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What Does "Insufficient Number of Credit References" Mean?

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By LaToya Irby. Credit/Debt Management Expert

Welcome to's Credit/Debt Management site, led by your guide, LaToya Irby. LaToya has been the credit and debt management guide since 2007. Read more

Question: What Does "Insufficient Number of Credit References" Mean?

Answer: If you received an adverse action notice that includes "Insufficient number of credit references" as a reason for being denied, that means you don't have enough credit accounts on your credit report. This might also be called a "limited credit history" or "thin credit file."

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Some may approve you without any accounts (or references), others may require you to have more than


If you're not approved because of "insufficient number of credit references," you'll need more positive credit accounts on your credit report before your application can be approved at that institution. Because creditors' requirements vary, you may get approved at other bank or credit card issuer even with the same number of credit accounts on your credit report.

To build up your credit when you have a limited credit history, consider a retail credit card or secured credit card (requires a deposit).

Becoming an authorized user. getting a joint account, or applying with a co-signer are other options for building up your credit so you can qualify alone.

Category: Credit

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