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Spouse’s Bad Credit Impacting Me?

Optimistic1
Member

Spouse’s Bad Credit Impacting Me?

I understand that, as long as all accounts are separate, that my spouse's credit issues shouldn't impact my ability to obtain credit on my own. For the most part, I have found that to be the case. Due to his recurring pattern of trashing his credit, I wisely separated everything several years ago. We did not have any joint CC accounts, but we were authorized users on a few of each other's cards. I removed him from mine, removed myself from his, and disputed away any of his accounts that didn't disappear from my reports on their own. 

I have had no problem obtaining new accounts and CLIs - even from places he also has a CC. My report is completely clean and my FICOs are above 800.  No BKs, ever, together or individually. But there is ONE bank I have never been able to obtain a CC: Citibank. It drives me crazy because I am constantly wondering if it is really due to the fact that I was an authorized user (in the past) on his AT&T Universal. It was his oldest card for a long time, but he has since defaulted on it. 

Am I potentially blackballed for life because of internal information that ties me to him? 

I had stopped trying for any accounts tied to Citi quite a while ago.. But I stupidly applied for the new Citi Custom Cash today and was denied. I know they will list reasons in the mailed letter. But I also know those are often not terribly accurate. I also know they are very unlikely to say "your spouse screwed up, so you are trash to us...nah nah nah!" Smiley Tongue 

Message 1 of 28
27 REPLIES 27
coldfusion
Community Leader
Super Contributor

Re: Spouse’s Bad Credit Impacting Me?

Was there a hard pull performed?

 

 



(4/2021)
FICO 8 (EX) 815 (TU) 822 (EQ) 808
FICO 9 (EX) 827 (TU) 826 (EQ) 832

$1M+ club

Artist formerly known as the_old_curmudgeon who was formerly known as coldfusion
Message 2 of 28
Optimistic1
Member

Re: Spouse’s Bad Credit Impacting Me?

Yes - they pulled EQ. I don't have any other inquiries on EQ. 

I did add 1 new acct (FNBO) this May. 
I added 3 new accts last year: Apple (5/20), Chase (7/20), Amex (8/20). 
My oldest account is 32 years. Prior to last year, I hadn't added a new account since 2016. 
Would the new accts from 2020, plus FNBO, be enough to sink me? Then again, they've also not approved me in the past with zero new accounts and zero inquiries. 

My utilization is reporting as  2%. 

I also just remembered I do have ONE account tied to Citi - a Macy's. But I've had that account for over 30 years. It got heavy use for years, always paid on time, no issues. I rarely use it now but do throw an occasional charge on it to keep it alive, since it's my oldest account. They have never offered me the Amex upgrade, which I would take in a heartbeat. 

Message 3 of 28
FinStar
Moderator

Re: Spouse’s Bad Credit Impacting Me?

In your op, you stated "I had stopped trying for any accounts tied to Citi quite a while ago..".  What did the previous attempts yield, as far as the reasons for being denied?

Message 4 of 28
Optimistic1
Member

Re: Spouse’s Bad Credit Impacting Me?

Unfortunately, I didn't save them and none were recent. I wasn't a daily reader on here at the time, so I don't think I took any of it as seriously as I do now. I do believe when I last applied (2016 maybe, Double Cash) they listed utilization. At that time, we were still authorized users on each other's CCs. The high utilization was on 3 of his accounts because he was routinely near maxing them out, despite me trying to get through to him how detrimental that was to scores. That was one of the reasons I eventually separated everything in 2017. I couldn't control his use of his CCs, but I could certainly control what showed up on my reports and influenced my scores. My scores subsequently climbed and his continued to decline. I had never hit 800 in all of the years we were on each other's accounts.

 

After that, I routinely tried all the various prequalify sites. It was partly for fun but also because I was getting into cash back CCs. I realize those aren't a guarantee by any stretch. But what caught my attention was that Citibank's prequalify page (before they yanked it) NEVER prequalified me for anything. The other prequalify pages always did, so I moved on to other cards. 

For the most part, I felt like I had what I needed for my current specific spend. The one thing I don't have is a rotating category card, but the ones available to me either don't offer me a higher percentage than what I already have or don't have categories that fit my spend pattern. Then this new Citi card popped up and it looked like a good fit for me. In a moment of over excitement, I jumped the gun. I should've waited for more DPs to trickle in and asked some questions here. 

I'm just frustrated because I don't understand what they are seeing on my profile that slams the door shut. Hopefully the letter will clarify it. I don't even have an installment loan of any kind, so my debt to income ratio is extremely low. I've never utilized balance transfers. Most of my cards are PIF before the statement cuts. Whatever I let report is PIF before the due date. 

Besides the Macy's CC, I've never had a Citi acct in my name. Only the account of his that I used to be an authorized user. The only reason I've had the Macy's so long is because I used to work there many years ago. The employee discount was tied to the CC, so they automatically gave them to everyone with tiny starting CL. Mine started at $300 (I think...might've been even less lol) and slowly grew through auto increases to $9900. Apparently that next $100 was a bridge too far. 

Ironically, the new FNBO just showed up on EQ today. I got the alert for that about 10 minutes after the alert for the inquiry. Is Citi new account sensitive? Would the one very recent account and the 3 from last year be an automatic no-go? None of them have reported a balance. 

Message 5 of 28
OmarGB9
Community Leader
Super Contributor

Re: Spouse’s Bad Credit Impacting Me?

I believe Citi is new account/inquiry sensitive, yes.

 

Also, all those other times you tried applying, you may have been denied because of the delinquent/high balance AU accounts, which isn't your fault, but unfortunately just as positive AU accounts help the AU, negative AU accounts hurt an AU.


Last App: 04/05/2021
Penfed Signature Loan

Currently rebuilding as of 04/11/2019.

Starting FICO 8 Scores:




Current FICO 8 scores:


Message 6 of 28
Optimistic1
Member

Re: Spouse’s Bad Credit Impacting Me?


@OmarGB9 wrote:

I believe Citi is new account/inquiry sensitive, yes.

 

Also, all those other times you tried applying, you may have been denied because of the delinquent/high balance AU accounts, which isn't your fault, but unfortunately just as positive AU accounts help the AU, negative AU accounts hurt an AU.



I sure wish I'd separated our credit sooner. Live & learn. But I do have a very healthy amount of credit already. Looks like I got a little over zealous and it's time for me to check into the gardening section for the foreseeable future. Smiley Embarassed

Message 7 of 28
Optimistic1
Member

Re: Spouse’s Bad Credit Impacting Me?

Small-giraffe was kind enough to post the Citi number that allowed me to check my denial reasons, without having to wait for the 7-10 day letter. 

The second reason they stated was too many recently opened accounts. Understandable. 
The FIRST reason was "lack of recent credit activity". What? Smiley Surprised 

I have 15 CCs & use almost all of them to varying degrees. I have one sock drawered Amex that I intend to close before the annual fee hits. A few get monthly small auto charges to keep them alive. A few others get bursts of spend every 2-3 months for the same reason. At least 5 are used for monthly spend. 

While I haven't been doing AZEO, I have been PIF, and on most, before the statement cuts. I thought it was helping me, but was it actually harming my profile for new credit? I don't recall ever seeing that denial reason and it didn't stop anyone else from granting me new credit and extending CLI. 

 

Should I switch to waiting to pay after my statement date on everything? Does that apply to Amex as well? It gets a lot of my monthly spend, but it also has a $25k CL so I have enough room to let it report and still stay under 10%. 

I'm shocked that was the first reason listed.

Message 8 of 28
OmarGB9
Community Leader
Super Contributor

Re: Spouse’s Bad Credit Impacting Me?


@Optimistic1 wrote:

Small-giraffe was kind enough to post the Citi number that allowed me to check my denial reasons, without having to wait for the 7-10 day letter. 

The second reason they stated was too many recently opened accounts. Understandable. 
The FIRST reason was "lack of recent credit activity". What? Smiley Surprised 

I have 15 CCs & use almost all of them to varying degrees. I have one sock drawered Amex that I intend to close before the annual fee hits. A few get monthly small auto charges to keep them alive. A few others get bursts of spend every 2-3 months for the same reason. At least 5 are used for monthly spend. 

While I haven't been doing AZEO, I have been PIF, and on most, before the statement cuts. I thought it was helping me, but was it actually harming my profile for new credit? I don't recall ever seeing that denial reason and it didn't stop anyone else from granting me new credit and extending CLI. 

 

Should I switch to waiting to pay after my statement date on everything? Does that apply to Amex as well? It gets a lot of my monthly spend, but it also has a $25k CL so I have enough room to let it report and still stay under 10%. 

I'm shocked that was the first reason listed.


Yes, you should let cards report balances naturally and then PIF after statement cut. Otherwise, how will creditors know when and how you're using other cards besides their own? If your report has a bunch of zero balances most of the time, creditors will think you don't really use the credit you have already.


Last App: 04/05/2021
Penfed Signature Loan

Currently rebuilding as of 04/11/2019.

Starting FICO 8 Scores:




Current FICO 8 scores:


Message 9 of 28
Yasselife
Valued Member

Re: Spouse’s Bad Credit Impacting Me?

AZEO is optimal before applying for new credit. Keep the utilization below 5-8% on each card. Your profile sounds excellent so I would think the denial has to do with your experience in the past as AU, as you mentioned. I wish I could give you an advice but seems like I should be the one listening to you, lol; maybe even adding you to my account as AU so you can get back in. Best of luck.

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Message 10 of 28
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