Re: From Capital One $500 limit to American Express
10-11-2012 07:27 PM
AMEX does their own internal scoring, so you must have looked a little better than your FICO score to their model.
No one can say for certain what's in that scoring model, but it's not hard to guess at some of it based on what they ask on the applications. They ask for income, yes, but also whether you have savings, checking, 401k, or investment accounts, and what their total value is. Since charge cards don't let you revolve a balance, your ability to pay in full is a prime factor.
I suspect having a diverse set of non-credit accounts boosts your likelihood of getting a charge card since the more liquid accounts you have the more likely you have the ability to access sufficient savings to cushion a bad month.
Another thing I suspect they do, and what probably worked in your favor, is use your address to get the median income for your area, and determine where your income falls on the spectrum for your location and age group. In your case, your income may not feel huge, but it's well above average for a 21-year-old, as is having a professional supervisory position.
I got the Zync when my FICO scores were notably worse than they are now, and I think what won them over was my having above average income for my age, a job with manager in the title, and a pretty substantial sum socked away in my savings, HSA, 401k, and non-retirement investments.
In essence, they gambled (correctly) that despite a couple of past mistakes when I was unemployed, my means and savings indicate I can always be relied on to fully pay my debts.
As for what happened when they put you on hold...even before--but especially since--the 2008 mortgage-backed securities crisis, smart lenders would avoid letting an underwriting decision be made by just one person. The rep you spoke to probably presented a recommendation to a supervisor, who then approved it.
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