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Registered: ‎01-09-2013
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Kafka? No, AmEx

[ Edited ]

I have been using an American Express card for nearly two decades as my primary personal credit card. The account has an automatic payment set up from my Fidelity brokerage account, but it is an unsecured credit card, not a secured card or a debit card. The card was originally issued pursuant to an arrangement between Fidelity and AmEx.

 

I am now trying to buy a house, and I have discovered that AmEx has not reported any of this activity over the years to credit agencies, despite thousands of dollars of charges and a long record of on-time payment. While I took out and paid off student loans years ago, apparently that is not enough to get me a credit score -- all 3 credit bureaus have me listed as "N/A" -- unscored, apparently meaning I can't get a mortgage to buy a home.

 

I tried to contact the credit agencies to ask what they needed to get a score, but I could not reach a human being. I called AmEx customer service, and they eventually said it was their policy not to report activity on this card because of an arrangement they had with Fidelity, so I could call Fidelity about having that arrangement set aside. I called Fidelity customer service, and they told me to call a special number at AmEx that dealt with credit reporting and tell them I was calling at Fidelity's request to have them report the data. I called that number and a woman with an Indian accent told me they did not report activity on accounts of this type because there is a "service fee" that applies to them when the account is opened. She could not explain what that was or what it had to do with anything, said she was done for the day, and said nothing could be done. She advised me to call American Express customer service again, which is where I started.

 

It seems more than a little ironic that having spent decades as a loyal customer of two of the country's premiere financial services companies, I am left with no credit, unable to buy a house. I don't need any company to give up any money. I just need one company to share my information, with my consent, with another company. 

 

(minor edit to space it out a bit for readability, welcome to the forums as well!  --Rev)

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Posts: 2,857
Registered: ‎06-08-2012
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Re: Kafka? No, AmEx

Well you chose the right name for your account, "clean slate."  Unfirtunatekym they are under no obligation to report,  If they report then it must be accurate,  I would call the number they gave you and see what they can do,  You may have to wait on gettimg house and establish your credit, 



Starting Score: EQ 551 TU 548 CK 607on 6/8/12, EX 542(AMEX pull 3/4/12)
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Re: Kafka? No, AmEx

[ Edited ]

Not sure this helps as I haven't encountered the situation, but what time did you call?  Could've been caught by a follow-the-sun support model, and it'd be worth calling back in the middle of the day US time possibly.

 

If I were you I'd absolutely continue to try including if there's some random fee that needs to be paid (can't see what but I'd pay a non-trivial amount personally in your situation if that is an option).  

 

If you don't get anywhere through the standard support number (I would still try back there again, keep getting entered as having called regarding the issue at different times... I would take notes too), check the sticky labeled "Backdoor Numbers" at the top of the forums and if the Account Services number can't help, then escalate to the Executive one. 

 

There's no guaruntee you can get them to process it, but I would highly encourage you to be persistent and unfailingly polite as you pursue it, as being a no-file is a huge problem as you found out with regards to mortgage qualification.  Wish I had better advice for you as the situation rather sucks, but keep at it. 

Starting Score: EQ 561, TU 567, EX 599* (12/30/11, EX lender pull 12/29/11)
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Posts: 252
Registered: ‎11-27-2011
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Re: Kafka? No, AmEx

They will report it all if you let it go past due.. Don't try that, just sayin'

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Registered: ‎01-08-2013
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Re: Kafka? No, AmEx


TabulaRasa wrote:

I have been using an American Express card for nearly two decades as my primary personal credit card. The account has an automatic payment set up from my Fidelity brokerage account, but it is an unsecured credit card, not a secured card or a debit card. The card was originally issued pursuant to an arrangement between Fidelity and AmEx.

 

I am now trying to buy a house, and I have discovered that AmEx has not reported any of this activity over the years to credit agencies, despite thousands of dollars of charges and a long record of on-time payment. While I took out and paid off student loans years ago, apparently that is not enough to get me a credit score -- all 3 credit bureaus have me listed as "N/A" -- unscored, apparently meaning I can't get a mortgage to buy a home.

 

I tried to contact the credit agencies to ask what they needed to get a score, but I could not reach a human being. I called AmEx customer service, and they eventually said it was their policy not to report activity on this card because of an arrangement they had with Fidelity, so I could call Fidelity about having that arrangement set aside. I called Fidelity customer service, and they told me to call a special number at AmEx that dealt with credit reporting and tell them I was calling at Fidelity's request to have them report the data. I called that number and a woman with an Indian accent told me they did not report activity on accounts of this type because there is a "service fee" that applies to them when the account is opened. She could not explain what that was or what it had to do with anything, said she was done for the day, and said nothing could be done. She advised me to call American Express customer service again, which is where I started.

 

It seems more than a little ironic that having spent decades as a loyal customer of two of the country's premiere financial services companies, I am left with no credit, unable to buy a house. I don't need any company to give up any money. I just need one company to share my information, with my consent, with another company. 

 

(minor edit to space it out a bit for readability, welcome to the forums as well!  --Rev)


Have you considered applying for a new amex revolver? You will be backdated to the original card granting you instant, albeit artificial history.

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Registered: ‎07-23-2012
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Re: Kafka? No, AmEx


LostTime wrote:

Have you considered applying for a new amex revolver? You will be backdated to the original card granting you instant, albeit artificial history.


this will work at first but if buying a house under manual review they will clearly see its new. and he would have to explain why he was seeking credit before buying a house. 

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Registered: ‎01-09-2013
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Re: Kafka? No, AmEx

Thanks everyone for the input, it's very helpful at least to know I'm not crazy for thinking this is crazy. On this issue of getting an AmEx revolver, would AmEx then report to the bureaus just the fact that they have been dealing with me for decades, or do we think they would they actually report the balances and payments dating back? (I will ask this of their customer service reps directly too, but I having having some trust issues with them at this point.)  That would then give me a score because I'd start having credit reported, and a better score because I'd have a long length of history, but it would also cost me somewhat to have run my credit recently to get the card -- is that right?

 

 

At this point I have also been advised just to get a new card and start building from scratch. USAA has said they can take a look at my history and give me a mortgage even without a score, but not having a standard score will cost me somewhat in the rate I pay on the mortgage.

 

Thanks again.  This is a doozy.

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Registered: ‎11-02-2009
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Re: Kafka? No, AmEx

I'm not sure I understand which Amex you have.  Is it the Fidelity Amex or are you just making your payments from a Fidelity account?  The Fidelity Amex card is offered by Fidelity, not American Express Bank.  It just uses Amex's payment network.  If you have the Fidelity Amex, you would not be backdated if you applied for a new Amex card.  The backdating only works if you have another card offered directly by American Express Bank.

 

As to your other question, assuming you can get backdated, it would not have rated history, i.e., you would not have a bunch of data showing OK for ontime payments.  You would have a new account with no information about previous payments, but it would have an open date of whatever year you opened your first card with Amex (and the month of your application date for the new card).  So it would help your score, but not sure what they would say in underwriting. 

 

You should post over in the mortgage forums.  There is info there about what lenders will accept alternative tradeline information, e.g., showing you paid your utlities/rent on-time, etc. 


Starting Score: ~500 (12/01/2008)
Current Score: EQ 681 (04/05/13); TU 98 728 (01/06/12), TU 08? 760 (provided by Barclay 1/2/14), TU 04 728 (lender pull 01/12/12); EX 742 (lender pull 01/12/12)
Goal Score: 720


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Registered: ‎01-24-2010
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Re: Kafka? No, AmEx


Walt_K wrote:

I'm not sure I understand which Amex you have.  Is it the Fidelity Amex or are you just making your payments from a Fidelity account?  The Fidelity Amex card is offered by Fidelity, not American Express Bank.  It just uses Amex's payment network.


Not quite true.   Fidelity AMEX is issued by FIA bank, a subsidary of BofA, not by Fidelity.

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Posts: 3,065
Registered: ‎11-02-2009
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Re: Kafka? No, AmEx


Wolf3 wrote:

Walt_K wrote:

I'm not sure I understand which Amex you have.  Is it the Fidelity Amex or are you just making your payments from a Fidelity account?  The Fidelity Amex card is offered by Fidelity, not American Express Bank.  It just uses Amex's payment network.


Not quite true.   Fidelity AMEX is issued by FIA bank, a subsidary of BofA, not by Fidelity.


Thanks for the clarification.  Still, no backdating if this is the card the OP is referring to.


Starting Score: ~500 (12/01/2008)
Current Score: EQ 681 (04/05/13); TU 98 728 (01/06/12), TU 08? 760 (provided by Barclay 1/2/14), TU 04 728 (lender pull 01/12/12); EX 742 (lender pull 01/12/12)
Goal Score: 720


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