Financial Review discussion

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Earlier discussion is in this thread: Financial Review Discussion [2009-2013]


In the USA a Financial Review typically includes a request to submit an IRS form 4506-T which authorizes American Express to obtain a transcript of your Federal Income Tax Return for a specific year. It does not authorize a copy of the actual return. Download the form here: http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f4506t.pdf

Order your own transcript here: https://sa2.www4.irs.gov/irfof-tra/start.do


Other USA-based rewards card issuers also audit accounts and end unsatisfactory relationships.

Bank of America: 2013

Citibank: 2013

JP Morgan Chase: 2013.1 2013.4 2013.9 2013.12
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Old Dec 30, 13, 12:23 pm
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Financial Review discussion

So the other week i decided it would be good to start the new year with some new financial goals in mind, and to get achieve them i wanted to cut a ton of debts. Sell my nice car, pay off all my cards, etc. So my car is going this friday, last week i put in payments in full for my amex plat+reserve cards, as well as my visa card (20k, 5k, 4k, respectively). As I did the payment as a bill pay directly from my bank it took a few days to process and fully post which it did this morning, directly followed by 2 emails from Amex letting me know each of my accounts was now canceled......

Fast forward through a 20 min hold and then the lip service from the agent informing me that according to the credit report done on me a few days ago as part of the FR...my credit usage was too high....even tho all my accounts are now at 0? They claimed my card usage violated the card holder agreement (im not sure how.....), and claimed i was delinquent on payments (I forgot a payment on my reserve card of liek $150 ONCE and caught it the morning after and paid right away) and due to all of this they decided to cancel me without any warning or so much as a courtesy call.

I was able to request them re-evaluating my accounts which needed me to go through all my financial details, confirming my citizenship, ssn, etc etc. And now have to wait ~2 weeks and pay a fee if they re-en-state me.

Seems rather stupid that they would make their decision to cancel me based on my credit usage when i quite clearly just paid all of it off....

/rant off
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Old Dec 30, 13, 12:45 pm
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Originally Posted by xolinlevh View Post
...my credit usage was too high....even tho all my accounts are now at 0?
Not sure why you are confused. The credit report apparently showed you owing ~$30,000 and American Express is telling you that this was too high relative to your income. The fact that you were able to pay off all the accounts this time is evidently not as important to them as the fact that you spent more than their formula says you can afford.

Why are you selling the car?
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Old Dec 30, 13, 12:59 pm
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I doubt that this has anything to do with the payments you have just made and everything to do with your credit utilization vs. income. Put simply, can your income sustain $29K in CC debt (and is there more non-Amex consumer debt auto loans, student loans and the like)?

You should be receiving a written explanation. If you've had too much debt, they've essentially said they don't want you as a customer.
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Old Dec 30, 13, 1:00 pm
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Originally Posted by mia View Post
Not sure why you are confused. The credit report apparently showed you owing ~$30,000 and American Express is telling you that this was too high relative to your income. The fact that you were able to pay off all the accounts this time is evidently not as important to them as the fact that you spent more than their formula says you can afford.

Why are you selling the car?
Bought a nice benz about 2 years ago based on an old income. That incomes been reduced so the payments on the car have become a larger impact then it used to be. That plus looking at the devaluation of the car and what i still owe on it, its better to just cut it. That aside, why would amex base the decision off what i owe them, when based on the date they ran the credit check, it was AFTER i submitted all my payments, but BEFORE they finished posting. Seems like willful ignorance on their part to cite my high use of their cards when they know full well that they are currently processing my full payment for the entire balance.
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Old Dec 30, 13, 1:02 pm
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Originally Posted by Luthe View Post
Why would they have been extending him more credit than their algorithms allow for?
Card issuers routinely reassess credit limits. It sounds as if they were looking at total reported debt, including auto loan and cards from other issuers, and comparing it to known income.
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Old Dec 30, 13, 1:03 pm
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Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
I doubt that this has anything to do with the payments you have just made and everything to do with your credit utilization vs. income. Put simply, can your income sustain $29K in CC debt (and is there more non-Amex consumer debt auto loans, student loans and the like)?

You should be receiving a written explanation. If you've had too much debt, they've essentially said they don't want you as a customer.
well, id been rolling this debt for a while, and had sustained it (paid every bill on time except for the one aforementioned time i forgot and paid the next morning). Though as I just paid it all off, shouldn't that answer their question as to my ability to support it? As for other bills, I do have the car loan which will be gone by the end of this week when i meet the buyer of the car, and student loans.

Originally Posted by mia View Post
Card issuers routinely reassess credit limits. It sounds as if they were looking at total reported debt, including auto loan and cards from other issuers, and comparing it to known income.
Guess my feeling on this is more that I think it would have made more sense to reduce my limit, rather then wait until they got all my money and shut me out?

Originally Posted by carzin View Post
The timing is horribly bad when it sounds like you have gotten your act together, but I wouldn't worry too much about it. You should just reapply in 2-3 months when your new 'debt' situation is reflected on your credit report. If you just paid them off, then it isn't going to show yet.

Awesome job at getting your slate wiped clean. If Amex doesn't want you back, then screw em. Plenty of other cards in the sea.

I remember when I was younger (23, I think), and Discover card turned me down, despite perfect credit and responsible credit card use (I had a credit card since I was 18). Never forgave them (not that I'd want that crappy card anyway, now).
Thanks yea Its a pain liquidating some assets to cover bills. But admittedly i shouldnt have let my cards run up so high. There are plenty of other cards i could (and may) apply for to replace the amex. I just get a lot of bang for my buck with them.
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Old Dec 30, 13, 1:18 pm
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Originally Posted by xolinlevh View Post
incomes been reduced...id been rolling this debt for a while,...liquidating some assets to cover bills....admittedly i shouldnt have let my cards run up so high.
It sounds as if American Express had excellent information, perhaps more insight into your financial circumstances than you expected. Still, I wouldn't be surprised if they modify the decision and keep an account open with a sharply reduced credit line, because it also sounds as if you are acting responsibly.
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Old Dec 30, 13, 1:22 pm
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Originally Posted by mia View Post
It sounds as if American Express had excellent information, perhaps more insight into your financial circumstances than you expected. Still, I wouldn't be surprised if they modify the decision and keep an account open with a sharply reduced credit line, because it also sounds as if you are acting responsibly.
yea, im crossing my fingers for that outcome, i dont use the card quite as much as i used to, but really would like the cards to remain open so i can use the spend threshold to make my Delta MQD waiver.
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Old Dec 30, 13, 2:33 pm
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Originally Posted by xolinlevh View Post
well, id been rolling this debt for a while, and had sustained it (paid every bill on time except for the one aforementioned time i forgot and paid the next morning). Though as I just paid it all off, shouldn't that answer their question as to my ability to support it? As for other bills, I do have the car loan which will be gone by the end of this week when i meet the buyer of the car, and student loans.



Guess my feeling on this is more that I think it would have made more sense to reduce my limit, rather then wait until they got all my money and shut me out?



Thanks yea Its a pain liquidating some assets to cover bills. But admittedly i shouldnt have let my cards run up so high. There are plenty of other cards i could (and may) apply for to replace the amex. I just get a lot of bang for my buck with them.
On the contrary. Amex seized the opportunity with a $0 balance to close the accounts.
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Old Dec 30, 13, 2:45 pm
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Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
On the contrary. Amex seized the opportunity with a $0 balance to close the accounts.
Hmm, guess they must work on a different mindset then me, ive been a cardholder for 6+ years now, aside from 1 late payment always paid on time. Never defaulted, never caused any problems, just seems odd to me that they would rather loose a customer then find any other sort of resolution for wahtever misconceptions they have about me.
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Old Dec 30, 13, 4:33 pm
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Originally Posted by xolinlevh View Post
Hmm, guess they must work on a different mindset then me, ive been a cardholder for 6+ years now, aside from 1 late payment always paid on time. Never defaulted, never caused any problems, just seems odd to me that they would rather loose a customer then find any other sort of resolution for wahtever misconceptions they have about me.
I can easily see them closing you down if you had a pattern of paying minimum amounts on high balances. Not saying you did, but that would be an easy trigger for them. Especially after 6 years...they got paid and took your interest...it's a win-win for them because of them considering you a high risk client.
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Old Dec 30, 13, 4:37 pm
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Originally Posted by Rick471 View Post
I can easily see them closing you down if you had a pattern of paying minimum amounts on high balances. Not saying you did, but that would be an easy trigger for them. Especially after 6 years...they got paid and took your interest...it's a win-win for them because of them considering you a high risk client.
well id not carried a balance until about the last ~8 months or so. all the years before that everything was paid in full instantly. 6 years and maybe 300k spend or so later....Just seems to me that putting a lower limit or something would have seemed like a much more proportional response.
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Old Dec 30, 13, 5:41 pm
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Originally Posted by carzin View Post
I remember when I was younger (23, I think), and Discover card turned me down, despite perfect credit and responsible credit card use (I had a credit card since I was 18). Never forgave them (not that I'd want that crappy card anyway, now).
Same thing happened to me, except I was 34. I applied for a Discover card, got turned down, and never looked back. I always thought it seemed silly that they didn't want my business, everyone seems to want it. I can't imagine applying for a Discover card again.

Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
On the contrary. Amex seized the opportunity with a $0 balance to close the accounts.
That implies that there is someone at Amex watching all these accounts, waiting for someone to pay it off in full and then cancel them. Do you really think it works that way? Just IMHO, but I doubt account closures are that impersonal. They want business, after all.
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Old Dec 30, 13, 5:43 pm
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Originally Posted by xolinlevh View Post
well id not carried a balance until about the last ~8 months or so. all the years before that everything was paid in full instantly. 6 years and maybe 300k spend or so later....Just seems to me that putting a lower limit or something would have seemed like a much more proportional response.
Perhaps they just now caught up with your adjustment in income from 2 years ago - did you inform them of that change? Sounds to me like you may have stretched yourself a little thin and perhaps they were making the right call in shutting things down. Selling a car and paying (if Im reading it right) 30k worth of debt off doesn't signal the right things. I'm pretty sure their calculations showed that quantitatively vs. my qualitative guessing.

I'm a little curious if companies like AMEX keep accounts open if they're maxed out for a while and waiting for them to pay off or pay down.... seems a more likely situation to getting their $ back vs canceling. Someone else alluded to this above.

By the way, good luck with the New Years lifestyle change... sounds like you're making some good moves for long term financial health. As others said, there are plenty of other banks out there you can build a relationship with... AMEX is far from the only game in town.

Originally Posted by jn in ca View Post
That implies that there is someone at Amex watching all these accounts, waiting for someone to pay it off in full and then cancel them. Do you really think it works that way? Just IMHO, but I doubt account closures are that impersonal. They want business, after all.
You seem to imply "person" here.... I can assure you there is a very large server farm running algorithms on their customers to figure out which accounts should be reviewed for closure (if not closed electronically.)
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Old Dec 30, 13, 5:54 pm
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Originally Posted by jn in ca View Post
Same thing happened to me, except I was 34. I applied for a Discover card, got turned down, and never looked back. I always thought it seemed silly that they didn't want my business, everyone seems to want it. I can't imagine applying for a Discover card again.

That implies that there is someone at Amex watching all these accounts, waiting for someone to pay it off in full and then cancel them. Do you really think it works that way? Just IMHO, but I doubt account closures are that impersonal. They want business, after all.
Why would you say that?

This is simple software coding.
1. Flag customers to fire.
2. Wait until balance drops to $X (in this case $0).
3. Fire them

Can absolutely guarantee you that no human being touches each customer/account.
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