Ok so income must have alot to do with it. Did you need to provide paystubs once you applied again the 3rd time? Did they need verification?
Income was the same each app, and I didn't have to show them anything. I qualified for membership through my work (NFCU gets my direct deposit from DFAS), so I'm sure they either have enough info on me already, or they can get it very easily.
I think my income was more of a factor in getting approved for NavChek two months ago than it was for the cashRewards card (though I agree that it helped me get a 6k line for that card once approved).
hmm... jobber. I have the same fico score at least from Equifax (563) could you posssible tell us what you also have on your credit report? such as: any chargoffs, how many collections if any and what positive open accounts you may have. I just signed up for NFCU last week for a checking and savings account and have my direct deposit going there now. I would love to get a regular card instead of the secured but i'm nervous my past credit history might affect it.
[I had a much longer post all ready to go, but an authentication error ate it (which is probably for the best, given my tendency to ramble).]
Charge-offs: One. AMEX Zync charged off 05/2012 for $28xx, paid down to $16xx by 01/2013 on a monthly plan with a collection agency, PIF 02/2013 (yay tax refund).
Collections: Two. Actually it was one paid medical collection for $194 (sent to CA arond 02/2012, paid 11/2012), but it was reporting twice. I'd like to think that this was noticed by the people doing a manual review of my reports.
Closed accounts (other than the Zync):
I had just under five months with NFCU (with checking, savings, and DD) before getting the NavChek, and just over six months when I got the cashRewards. The truth of the matter is that with scores in our area, we'll be borderline, even for NFCU's generous unsecured credit products (and if history doesn't affect approval, it will affect the APR)...but at least we have a shot. It might take a recon (which I never tried), or scrubbing away at some baddies (through GW/DV/PFD/etc., which, again, I never tried), or just builiding a little bit more positive recent history to get there...or maybe they'll approve you tomorrow. As I see it, the inquiries were worth it for me, because the lenders I know that are really INQ-sensitive are also out of reach for me in the next year anyway. So there wasn't much to lose by applying now (points from baddies aging a month > points lost from an INQ or two).
Good luck with your application, whenever you submit it.