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Over-55s seeking credit at higher risk of being rejected

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Demand for credit among the over-55s remains strong but these would-be borrowers are at a higher risk of being rejected, new research shows.

According to a survey by over-55s adviser Key Retirement Solutions, around 22% of over-55s have applied for credit cards, loans or overdrafts in the past year, but 12% were turned down all together.

Over-55s are most likely to be rejected for credit cards (70%), while 26% have been rejected for a loan and 13% have been refused an overdraft increase.

Credit card companies do not impose age limits for new applicants but may impose minimum incomes while mortgage lenders impose age limits on loans.

Therefore the choice and range of credit available to Brits drop significantly with age as incomes become more limited.

The research found that the average under-65 with good credit can choose from up to 85 personal loans.

However that falls to 44 loans for those aged 65 and to 37 for those aged 70. Over-65s without good credit ratings will only be able to apply for four or fewer loans.

Dean Mirfin of Key Retirement Solutions said: “Access to credit is a major issue for the over-55s and more particularly for the over-65s as demand remains high while lenders remain wary and the risk of rejection is high.

“Nearly one in five over-65s expect to or have already borrowed money in retirement and the ability to borrow is important in order to be able to fund major expenses and maintain their standard of living.

“Recovery in the wider economy is feeding through to pensioners but low annuity rates and the lingering effects of endowment mis-selling means retirement incomes remain under pressure.”

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