DEFINITION of 'Blacklist'

A list of persons, organizations or nations suspected or convicted of fraudulent, illegal or criminal activity, and therefore excluded from a service or penalized in some other manner. A blacklist may be maintained by any entity, ranging from a small business enterprise to an inter-governmental body. Depending on the scope of the blacklist, it may either be secret or public.

A common misconception held by many people relates to the purported existence of a "credit blacklist" to deny credit facilities to consumers with poor or spotty credit histories. Since a credit blacklist as such does not exist, the reality is that creditors and lending agencies rely on the consumer's credit history rather than a blacklist to guide their loan decisions.


The negative effects of being blacklisted can be quite considerable, with huge inconvenience being the least of them; the more severe effects include loss of credibility and goodwill, a decline in business and clients, and financial hardship.

An example of a secret blacklist includes the "No-Fly List" maintained by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, which lists people who are not permitted to board a commercial flight to travel into or out of the United States. An example of a public blacklist is the list of non-cooperative countries maintained by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), which lists countries that the FATF considers to be uncooperative in the global effort against money laundering and terrorist financing.

If you have been denied credit because of a poor credit history, you should attempt to repair it as soon as possible. Some of the measures suggested by experts to repair credit history include reviewing your credit record for errors and inaccurate information and making existing debt repayments on time.

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