Since I’ve spent so much time perusing this site for info, it’s only fair that I add my experience. I hope it’s helpful, especially for the self-employed.
I was pre-approved for Penfed’s used auto loan (up to 20K, 60 months, 3.9%) and Promise card 2.5K @ 12-13% (can’t remember the exact apr at the moment).
I had no previous relationship with penfed. Did everything over the phone – applied for membership, opened a savings account with $25, and applied for the auto loan and card in one call. I got snagged on income verification (my 1040s are not the best indication of my income). Anyone whose self-employed probably knows the drill – if it’s even remotely claim-able…claim it as an expense! This lowers tax burden but also gross income, on paper anyway. They didn’t accept my profit/loss statements by themselves (or bank statements). I finally was approved by faxing them a 30-page blow-by-blow listing of my deposits into my business checking account (with check images) for the past 3 months. Or maybe they just got tired of me….I dunno. All of this took the better part of a day, with 3-4 different CS people, and with each new fax batch, them checking with the underwriter.
My declared gross income is 50K (any given year it’s between 35K-55K). FICOs are 756 TU, 724 EQ, 692 EX. About 10 inquiries across the board, all but one older than 12 months. Latest new account was 2 months ago (BOA card, 7.5K). Utilization 21%. No collections (had my one and only age off 6 months ago…but still paying on it…another story). No Bankruptcies. Aside from a late payment 5 years ago (statement fell behind my desk…really!), no bad marks. Good luck!
Thank you for sharing your experience. It is a fairly common theme for self-employed borrowers to have to jump through additional hoops. Congrats on the perseverence and getting your loan.