Fewer consumers sought credit, and the number of those too discouraged to even apply grew, according to the quarterly Survey of Consumer Expectations (SCE) Credit Access Survey, released by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York Monday.

Although they needed credit in the past year, 7.1% of survey respondents said they were too discouraged to apply, the highest level since June 2014, and an increase from the 5.7% reported in the last survey in October 2016.

Those who applied for and were granted credit in the past year fell to 31.5%, the lowest level since February 2015. Those who applied for credit and were rejected slipped to 8.5% from 9.9% in October.

"Credit application rates declined from 42.3% in October to 39.9%, the lowest level since the series' start in October 2013," the survey noted. "The drop in application rates was broad-based across all credit score and age groups."

The respondents that expect to apply for at least one type of credit in the next year fell to a new series low of 26.0% from 27.8% in October. The decrease was especially prevalent for respondents with the lowest credit scores.

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