Struggling Kilmarnock is UK Credit Rejection Capital

Mar 26th 2015

Research reveals 65% of credit card applications in the largest town in East Ayrshire were declined last year.

Kilmarnock has been crowned the credit card rejection capital of the UK with 65% of all those who applied for a credit card being turned down. This is despite a 4% drop in unemployment levels in the region in 2014.1 The Credit Index2 and interactive map released today by, the credit comparison experts, paints a picture of a shifting credit landscape in England, Wales and Scotland.’s Credit Index and interactive map ranks one-quarter-of-a-million credit card applications based on the likelihood of acceptance or rejection. This data covers 123 areas in the UK over the year. Research reveals that nationwide 60% of consumers have been turned down when applying for a new credit card. This figure is down 1% on the previous year, but there are stark divides between the regions and the research uncovers the postcode lottery facing credit card applications.

  • National Rejects: In 2014, 60% of credit card applications across the UK have been declined. But this is down on the 61% level in 2013.
  • Another No for Scotland: Five of the Top Ten Credit Application black spots are in Scotland. Dundee (64.2%) Dumfries (64.2%) Paisley (63.9%) and Motherwell (63.8%) join Kilmarnock at the bottom of the Credit Index.
  • Strictly Credit Hungry: For the second year in a row the people of Blackpool made the highest number of applications for credit per capita in the UK (0.537%). The inhabitants of the Ballroom dancing Mecca were closely followed by the residents of Kilmarnock (0.535%) and Sunderland (0.51%). Although the number of applications remains high in Blackpool, the rejection rate is down on 2013 levels and they have climbed 10 places in the Credit Index, leapfrogging Cleveland and Swansea.
  • Credit Success: Essex might not be the only way when it comes to credit card application, with Ilford leading the way as the only area of the country with a better than evens chance (51.6%) of being accepted for a credit card. 2013 credit success stories St Albans, Bromley and Kingston upon Thames have all taken a tumble, bumped out of the top ten by Southall, Harrow and Kirkwall.
  • East rising: East London has leapt 74 places up the table to take the fourth highest acceptance rate spot (49.5%). And with one of the highest per capita application rates (0.5%) in the country the post-Olympics regeneration of the area shows no sign of slowing.

Nigel Pocklington, CEO of comments: “Our Annual Credit Index has again revealed insights into credit card application rejection rates across the country. “We've seen urban regeneration in East London reflected in improved credit application acceptance, but there are still many people struggling to access affordable credit, particularly in the North and Scotland. “A key finding of this study is that the overall credit card acceptance rate actually rose last year. “This may reflect an optimism and confidence among lenders that they can relax their acceptance criteria or that consumers are making better-informed decisions about credit. “With most consumers facing a less than a 50:50 chance of being accepted, it's more important than ever that consumers use a service like that shows how likely you are to be accepted before you apply for credit. “Fear of rejection leads more than one-third (36%)3 of credit card holders to hang on to their existing card and potentially miss out on huge savings. Switching to a market leading credit card saves the average balance transfer customer over £800 over the lifetime of the deal – This dwarfs the average savings made from switching energy provider or taking out new insurance.” ENDS

Contact Information

Margo Milutinovic, E:

About, launched in 2007, is the UK’s leading credit-focussed comparison website which sets out to make it simpler for consumers to compare credit cards, loans and mortgages. We believe technology can drive a fairer credit market and better outcomes for consumers.

Notes to Editors:

  1. Scottish Labour Market Briefing, Dec 2014.
  2.’s Credit Index is generated from data and analysis from HD Decisions and HD Decisions provides the leading ‘pre-qualification’ application for credit cards that leverages a detailed understanding of credit data and lenders’ credit policies, enabling consumers to see which products they are most likely to be accepted for before applying. The Credit Index examines 221,324 applicants and their likelihood of acceptance and decline in 2014. These likelihoods are based on individual credit status and lender criteria.
  3. Based on research carried out through OnePoll, 2013 among 2,000 credit card holders.

For more information, please contact James McCaffrey

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