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New Member
Posts: 2
Registered: ‎05-23-2011
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Odds of getting on board with Amex?

Hi there - new to all of this, just joined this evening.

 

I'm a law student with about $40K in federal student loans, and one card (BoA) at...oh, let's say 97% utilization until I finally start getting paychecks from my summer job in a week or two. 

 

My question is this: my score from TU is 707. If I can pay down my BoA card (CL upped to $2,300 last summer) to around $1,000 or so by the end of the summer, the simulator puts me between 737 and 777. If I hit that goal, what are my odds of getting on board with AmEx? I've never had a late payment and I don't have anything negative except for the elephant in the room, which is that I tend to run up my cards to the max at the end of each semester (call it the price of living on loans). And if I've got a shot, what card should I shoot for?

 

Thanks (from a broke and confused law student)!

Valued Contributor
Posts: 2,505
Registered: ‎11-11-2010
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Re: Odds of getting on board with Amex?

[ Edited ]

Even with $1000 balance, that's 44% utilization for that account. That's still pretty high.

 

I say get the utilization down below 20%, that is $460 or less, before giving AMEX a try.

In My Wallet:
Citi Forward (12/2010) | Citi Dividend (05/2011) | Chase Freedom (11/2011) | GECRB/PayPal (05/2012)
Discover it (07/2012) | AMEX BCP (09/2012) | TD/Target REDCard (10/2012) | Chase Ink Classic (11/2012)
BofA BBR (04/2013) | FNBO/Overstock.com (02/2014) | Barclaycard Arrival (04/2014) | FIA/Fidelity AMEX (04/2014)
New Member
Posts: 2
Registered: ‎05-23-2011
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Re: Odds of getting on board with Amex?

Thanks for the tip! I guess my concern is this: if I have a history of a high utilization rate, will they see that? Or will they only evaluate my utilization rate when I apply for the card? I appreciate the help - I'm new to this game.

Valued Contributor
Posts: 2,505
Registered: ‎11-11-2010
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Re: Odds of getting on board with Amex?

Lenders only care about your current utilization when they pull your credit reports.

In My Wallet:
Citi Forward (12/2010) | Citi Dividend (05/2011) | Chase Freedom (11/2011) | GECRB/PayPal (05/2012)
Discover it (07/2012) | AMEX BCP (09/2012) | TD/Target REDCard (10/2012) | Chase Ink Classic (11/2012)
BofA BBR (04/2013) | FNBO/Overstock.com (02/2014) | Barclaycard Arrival (04/2014) | FIA/Fidelity AMEX (04/2014)
Contributor
Posts: 132
Registered: ‎12-07-2010
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Re: Odds of getting on board with Amex?


wahoowa2010 wrote:

Thanks for the tip! I guess my concern is this: if I have a history of a high utilization rate, will they see that? Or will they only evaluate my utilization rate when I apply for the card? I appreciate the help - I'm new to this game.


 

Yes, they can most definately see high utilization, as well as payments, and quite a bit of other information.

 

Here's an example from my Experian report, this is my USAA card, and it was a big black hole in my report until more recently:

 


 

I originally applied for Amex Blue Cash on December 6th. (I thought my new Citi Forward had already started reporting with it's $2300 limit, it hadn't so my utilzation was **bleep**E)

 

This was more of a patience issue than anything, I applied for a discover card all of a week later and got approved O_o

 

Anyways, I applied for a Blue Cash Preferred about a week or so ago, and got approved this time, but now I had my citi and discover cards reporting my citi got a CLI to 3300 etc. So this time my Util was around 20% (I've also been running almost every cent I spend through my cards, so for me, extremely heavy usage, 2-3k a month, pretty much always PIF for the Citi and Discover)

 

Anyways, I'd say you may want to get 1-2 more obtainable cards first, and build a broader history before going for Amex. Or possibly getting a Charge Card first, and then building a bit of history through Amex.

For reference: Here's my EQ Fico over the last 6 months (keep in mind Amex ALWAYS pulls EX not EQ, but just for an idea):

 

I've loved my Citi Forward card, it's an awesome card to have good rewards, and citi is supposed to be pretty good about CL and CLI, I apped that one on 12/6/10, so as you can see, my score was 717 and my util was garbage when I applied, and I still got approved, because while my card was maxed out, I never missed a payment on that or my student loans. You may also want to look into CU cards just to build your limits up. That's my next goal since I've now got all 4 visa/mc/disc/amex, My limits are currently 1000/3300/1000/2000, now I want something 5k plus.


Starting Score: EX FICO: Unknown EQ FICO: 717 TU (CreditKarma): 713
Current Score: EX FICO: 737 EQ FICO: 752 TU (CreditKarma): 717
Goal Score: EX FICO: 760 EQ FICO: 760 TU (CreditKarma): 760


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Contributor
Posts: 132
Registered: ‎12-07-2010
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Re: Odds of getting on board with Amex?

[ Edited ]

trumpet-205 wrote:

Lenders only care about your current utilization when they pull your credit reports.


With some banks this may be true, since that's how FICO works, but Amex is different since they use their own scoring model. The actual util may not be as big of a problem, but if they see constant minimum payments, that's a big red flag.

For example, here is my original Amex denial:


Thank you for your recent application for the Blue Cash SM from American Express.  After reviewing your request, regrettably, we are unable to open an account for you at this time for the following reason(s):

Your American Express Acquisition Risk Score is too high  (See below)

Your application was processed using our American Express Proprietary Acquisition Risk Scoring System which assigns a numerical value to the various items of information we consider in evaluating an application.  Your application's total score exceeded our threshold for approval at this time.  Listed below are the reasons that you did not score well compared with other applicants.  (For reasons based on information in a credit report, the name of the consumer reporting agency is identified.)

- Your consumer credit bureau score from Experian is too low  (See below)
- High utilization of credit lines or insufficient utilization information (Experian)
- In our estimation, the amount you have paid on your bank and retail credit card accounts over the last twelve months is too low. (Experian)
- Amount of credit available on accounts (Experian)  

Your consumer credit bureau score mentioned above was determined using a scoring system that evaluated the information in your file at the consumer reporting agency named above.  The following are the primary factors in your credit report that affected your credit bureau score:

- Proportion of revolving balances to revolving credit limits is too high.
- Length of time accounts have been established.
- Proportion of loan balances to loan amounts is too high.
- Too many inquiries last 12 months.

Our credit decision was based in whole or in part on information obtained in a report from the consumer reporting agency(ies) listed in this letter.  Please understand that the reporting agency(ies) played no part in our decision and cannot supply you with specific reasons why we denied credit to you. You have a right under the Fair Credit Reporting Act to obtain a free copy of your report from the reporting agency, if you request it no later than 60 days after you receive this notice.  If you find that any information contained in the report you receive is inaccurate or incomplete, you have the right to dispute the matter with the reporting agency.

An important notice concerning your rights is included.  The creditor is American Express Centurion Bank.

Applicants who were not approved for a new account at one time may qualify in the future. You are welcome to apply for any of our cards, but please wait at least 30 days before submitting a new application.

To learn more about protecting your credit, visit our Consumer Resources page at www.americanexpress.com/consumerresources.  If you have any questions, please call 800-567-1083 or write to us at the address above.

Thank you for your interest in our service.

Sincerely,
[Edited by marinevietvet, myFICO moderator to remove personal information ]

Vice President and General Manager



Starting Score: EX FICO: Unknown EQ FICO: 717 TU (CreditKarma): 713
Current Score: EX FICO: 737 EQ FICO: 752 TU (CreditKarma): 717
Goal Score: EX FICO: 760 EQ FICO: 760 TU (CreditKarma): 760


Take the FICO Fitness Challenge

Frequent Contributor
Posts: 445
Registered: ‎10-23-2010
0

Re: Odds of getting on board with Amex?

[ Edited ]

Ill tell you one little known thing that will get you denied with AMEX no matter what your FICO scores are. A bad report on the Chex Systems. My Ex-Wife wrote a hot check and closed her account.

Fast forward 8 years after divorce, and my name was on the account, so AMEX says I need a 10K deposit. Chex Systems keeps their records for 10 years. Needless to say I told AMEX what they could do with the card LOL. I even explained the situation, and they said sorry.... thats the deal.

Scores: EQ (FICO) - 730 | EX (FICO) - 722 | TU (FICO) - 713 - 06/25/2014



US Airways MC (5 K) | US Airways World MC (10 K) | Chase United Airlines Sig VISA (5K) | BOA Rewards Sig Visa (10K) Citi Dividend Plat MC (5.6K) | Discover Miles (6.6K) | AMEX BCE (7 K) | AMEX Plat Delta (11 K) | BOA PLAT (7.5K)


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