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Frequent Contributor
Mank
Posts: 414
Registered: ‎11-30-2008
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American Express reporting outdated balance

I've been keeping a really close eye on my credit reports lately because I'm considering financing a car. I checked my report on March 13th to see if some accounts had updated yet, and they were all still showing Last Reported Date of 02/2009. Today I checked again and my AMEX has been reported for 03/2009 but the recent balance they reported of $1698.95 hasn't been the balance on the card since 2/14/2009! Since then I've made some small charges, but most importantly made a payment of $1698.95 on March 8th which brought my balance down to $254.41. The previous months reported balance was $461.24, so this is a big increase and I'm afraid it's going to have a negative impact on my score. Incidentally, the reported balance for February was also the same as the amount of the payment I made, and hadn't actually been the balance on the card since 1/16/09.

 

Is AMEX reporting my payment instead of my account balance? Is there any reason they would be reporting a balance to the credit bureaus that was a month old?? Can I ask them to update my recent balance with the CRA to reflect my actual balance???

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fevmlo
Posts: 640
Registered: ‎03-28-2008
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Re: American Express reporting outdated balance

AmEx always reports behind, for some reason best known to themselves.

 

Just using my account as an example, my statement cut today. A few days ago my credit reports updated with the balance from my February statement. Until then they'd been showing the balance from my January statement. My April statement is due to cut on April 14, I think - and around April 11 or 12, AmEx will update my balance with the credit bureaus to show the balance of the statement that just cut today!

 

Weird, yes... but it's AmEx. They can be a real pain when you're trying to get your utilization reporting just how you want it in a hurry! 

EQ: 723 / TU: 760 (August 2009)
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haulingthescoreup
Posts: 28,115
Registered: ‎04-01-2007
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Re: American Express reporting outdated balance

They always report the balance on my statement, but they do so 4 weeks after statement date.

So there is effectively a 2-month wait before a balance on a statement stops showing on your reports.

Yet another reason to always have a $0 balance report for AmEx!
* Credit is a wonderful servant, but a terrible master. * Who's the boss --you or your credit?
FICO's: EQ 781 - TU 793 - EX 779 (from PSECU) - Done credit hunting; having fun with credit gardening. - EQ 590 on 5/14/2007
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Mank
Posts: 414
Registered: ‎11-30-2008
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Re: American Express reporting outdated balance

Ack! So if I'm looking to apply for anything, I basically have to stop using my AMEX for two months for my score to be at it's highest? Soooo helpful, American Express. I love my cash rebate, but now I understand why everyone complains about them so much!

 

It's a pretty new card with only $2500 CL, so I put in a request online for $7500 to get it closer to my other cards. 7-10 days later nothing had happened, so I called and found out that my request had never gone through! We'll see in another 7-10 days if they give it to me or not. I wonder how long it will take them to report that once it comes through :smileywink:

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haulingthescoreup
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Re: American Express reporting outdated balance

Don't stop using it entirely, just stop using it 5-6 days before the statement date. Pay it off about 3 days before the statement date. Check again the night before or the morning of the statement date and make any additional payment if one shows up. Then wait for your statement to show up with $0 online, and start all over again.
* Credit is a wonderful servant, but a terrible master. * Who's the boss --you or your credit?
FICO's: EQ 781 - TU 793 - EX 779 (from PSECU) - Done credit hunting; having fun with credit gardening. - EQ 590 on 5/14/2007
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Mank
Posts: 414
Registered: ‎11-30-2008
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Re: American Express reporting outdated balance

Now I'm even more annoyed with American Express. They denied my request for a credit limit increase, and when I called in she said it was because the card was new (opened Dec 2008) and that I needed 6 months activity showing before they could increase my limit. When I argued that the girl who had processed the request told me I only needed 60 days they put me through to a different representative who told me I was denied for the following reasons:

 

Length of time accounts have been established (5.5 years, I'm 24 years old)

Too many recent credit checks (2 in the past year, one of those being AMEX to open my account, 1 more from over a year ago)

Proportion of revolving balance to revolving credit limits is too high (14% Util)

Too many accounts with balances (all my open accounts have balances, big surprise)

 

So I asked what utilization would be acceptable and she told me 40% would be the very max. When I pointed out that my utilization is only 14% she moved on to needing a 775 score at minimum. When I asked her what my score was she said she couldn't give it to me. I'm seriously doubting she even had a copy of my credit report in front of her. Do they just automatically give you this list to intimidate you into leaving them alone? Do they really expect me to have an auto loan and mortgage open with no balance? My credit cards report balances because I pay the statement balance every month, so these balances are always pretty low. I've always figured let my money earn me interest while the credit card companies who make money off of me carry my recent purchases for a month. Does this end up coming back to haunt you? My biggest pet peeve is the length of history thing. I really wish companies would weight this against age. I've been a responsible borrower since I was 19 years old, surely that should look better than someone who doesn't start using credit til they're 30.

 

Just ranting at this point! I'll try again in 3 months time and hopefully get an automatic increase.

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haulingthescoreup
Posts: 28,115
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Re: American Express reporting outdated balance

Well, I understand about wanting to make your money work for you and all, but I once figured how much money I was losing by paying my balances before the statement rather than on the due date, and it was something like 12 cents/ month. When you're doing well to get 2% APR, 8 days of interest is pretty small beer.

Paying early certainly isn't for everyone, but it does help scores, and apparently it would force AmEx to make up yet another excuse to deny you instead. :smileywink:
* Credit is a wonderful servant, but a terrible master. * Who's the boss --you or your credit?
FICO's: EQ 781 - TU 793 - EX 779 (from PSECU) - Done credit hunting; having fun with credit gardening. - EQ 590 on 5/14/2007
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Mank
Posts: 414
Registered: ‎11-30-2008
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Re: American Express reporting outdated balance

[ Edited ]
I love that you're more OCD than I am and actually calculated that out! One more question, going back to the reporting. If I pay my bill early, do you think Amex will get around to reporting it earlier? They updated my credit report on 3/13 with the statement balance from my 3/8 payment. Now I have a payment due 4/8, but if I pay it now do you think Amex will update my credit report by the end of this month, instead of the middle of the next? Or is there any way to get them to report it early?
Message Edited by Mank on 03-23-2009 09:58 AM
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haulingthescoreup
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Re: American Express reporting outdated balance


Mank wrote:
I love that you're more **bleep** than I am and actually calculated that out! One more question, going back to the reporting. If I pay my bill early, do you think Amex will get around to reporting it earlier? They updated my credit report on 3/13 with the statement balance from my 3/8 payment. Now I have a payment due 4/8, but if I pay it now do you think Amex will update my credit report by the end of this month, instead of the middle of the next? Or is there any way to get them to report it early?

No, alas, their reporting has always been this way. It's not influenced by when a consumer pays (or doesn't pay.)

The pattern that I see is that they report 4 weeks after the statement date, reporting that balance. So then, of course, 2 or 3 days later, there's the next statement with whatever the next balance is. That's why it's so maddening when a balance sneaks on an AmEx statement. I get to brood about it for four weeks, before it actually reports, and then glare at it for another month while it displays!
* Credit is a wonderful servant, but a terrible master. * Who's the boss --you or your credit?
FICO's: EQ 781 - TU 793 - EX 779 (from PSECU) - Done credit hunting; having fun with credit gardening. - EQ 590 on 5/14/2007

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