You’re about to apply for a loan, but your bank asks for credit references. Panic sets in. What the heck is a credit reference? Is this some kind of test? Do you need to study? Don’t worry. We’re here to guide you through the maze of credit references, so you can get that loan and conquer the world!

What is a credit reference?

Simply put, a credit reference is a document that proves you’re a good borrower. When you apply for credit, lenders want to know if you’re a risk or a safe bet. They check your credit report, your income, your employment status, and other factors. But sometimes, they want more. They want to know if other lenders trust you. That’s where credit references come in.

A credit reference is a letter or a form that a lender sends to another lender or to you. It confirms that you have a good track record of paying your debts on time and in full. It also provides information about your credit limit, your outstanding balance, and your payment history. Credit references are usually requested when you apply for a new credit card, a mortgage, a car loan, or any other type of credit.

How to get a credit reference

Getting a credit reference is easy. Just ask your lender. Most lenders are happy to provide credit references for their good customers. You can also request a credit reference from your landlord or utility provider, if you’ve been paying your rent or bills on time. Just make sure to provide their contact details to your lender.

When you apply for credit, you can also offer to provide credit references yourself. This can be helpful if you have a thin credit file or if you’ve just started building your credit history. You can ask your landlord, your employer, your accountant, or any other trusted person who knows your financial situation to write a reference letter for you. Just make sure that the letter includes their contact details, their position, and their relationship to you.

How to remove a credit reference

Removing a credit reference is not as easy as getting one. You can’t just ask your lender to delete it from your file. The only way to remove a credit reference is to ask the lender who provided it to withdraw it. This can happen if the lender made a mistake, if the information is outdated or inaccurate, or if you paid off the debt in full.

To remove a credit reference, you need to contact the lender who provided it and explain the situation. You may need to provide proof of payment, such as a receipt or a bank statement. If the lender agrees to withdraw the credit reference, they will send a notice to the credit bureaus to update your credit report. It may take a few weeks for the changes to reflect on your report.

How credit references impact your overall credit

Credit references can have a positive or negative impact on your credit score, depending on the content and the context. If the credit reference confirms that you’re a responsible borrower, it can improve your creditworthiness and increase your chances of getting approved for credit. It can also lower your interest rate and your fees.

On the other hand, if the credit reference reveals that you’re a risky borrower, it can damage your credit score and your reputation. It can also make it harder for you to get approved for credit or to negotiate better terms. That’s why it’s important to manage your credit references carefully and to make sure that they reflect your true financial situation.

What if your score isn’t great and neither are your credit references?

Say hello to Brigit’s Credit Builder*. By setting aside as little as $1/month, Brigit reports that as on-time payments to the credit bureaus, helping you build credit over time (learn about how your credit score is calculated here). The subscription includes access to credit monitoring, credit score tracking, and identity theft protection. By using Brigit’s Credit Builder, you can improve your credit and may not even need credit references in the future.

Want to learn more? Check out this 30-second video or visit

Remember, credit references are just one aspect of your credit history. Keeping your payments up-to-date, managing your credit utilization, and maintaining a good credit mix are also essential factors that impact your overall credit. By being responsible with your credit, you can build a strong financial foundation and achieve your goals.

*Impact to score may vary. Some users’ scores may not improve. Results will depend on many factors, including on-time payment history, the status of non-Brigit accounts, and financial history. Results show that customers with a starting credit score of 600 or below were more likely to see positive score change results. A Brigit subscription is required.

Banking services provided by Coastal Community Bank, Member FDIC.