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PenFed, underwhelming but approved


PenFed, underwhelming but approved

I've always wanted to joing a CU cause I love the "not for profit" idea pulling down rates. Everyone here raves about PenFed so I opened with $35. Applied for the Promise card with much hesitation. (Edited to add. I applied last night, Sat night, at 11pm!)

Underwhelming approval at $1000 @ 17.99%. Well, hey this is better than any other CC % I have but most of my limits are around 1800-2000.

Eventually I was hoping to get a personal loan/ PLOC from them. It would be a huge boon as I am self-employed, would help stabilize a month or two when flow gets awry.
I think the income statement screen may not have helped because I am self-employed and they approved me for much less than the income I entered would dictate I can handle (according to common sense anyway).

My goals were to 'get a break' with lower interest where I could consolodate / transfer balances and raise my score by freeing up credit due,  having a lower overall utilization. So guess that's not going to happen and this is just another card.

But I guess another positive, is everyone speaks so highly about PenFed maybe in time they will trust me enough for a 5-10k personal loan (also need a used car loan).
Another supposed positive seen from the boards here is that they hopefully only pulled once. Any advice on getting them to view me favorably is appreciated. I think I should have waited until I paid down my util from 30% to 10%.
So, it doesn't look like they thought I was too great of a candidate just yet.

Any advice on how to treat this account would be appreciated, I want to win them over, I love the idea of the CU concept and they have already offered a decent rate (although not as low as my CapOne pre-approved, no income verifcation needed, on a car loan - 22k @ 9%, 60 mos). CapOne loves me. I do want to build a relationship with this company.

Right now I have general Fico 8: Eq 657 / TU 644 / Exp 658 ....
For CC Lending: Bankcard score 8 - 370 / Fico 3 - 625 / Bankcard Score 2 - 607
Bankcard Score 9: 624

I have 4 INQ on TU and barely any on my other accounts.

Any advice or experience is appreciated! I am more than halfway pleased, please don't take my tone as negative, just seeing the realities =)
Does investing in their financial products also help get approved (question for down the line).

Thank you for reading all of this!

Message 1 of 11
Super Contributor

Re: PenFed, underwhelming but approved

I applied for promise and got 1.5k approval and then I applied for travel amex back to back and got 17.5k approval with a 660.
Message 2 of 11
Frequent Contributor

Re: PenFed, underwhelming but approved

Credit Unions are awesome! That being said, they are still a financial institution. Give it some time, build history with them, and it will pay off. I have been thinking on opening a account with PenFed for a while. I may just do it today. Congrats on joining a CU! It was a great decision!

Starting Score: 6/30/15 EQ 554 TU 534 EX 608
Current Score: EQ 630 TU 635 EX 653
Goal Score: 680 across the board

Take the myFICO Fitness Challenge!
Message 3 of 11

Re: PenFed, underwhelming but approved

Thanks! Amex has no love for me. I don't blame them, though it fell off over 15 years ago I burned a Delta Sky Miles. Also, tried again 5 yrs ago adding to parent's card and although that is listed as "pays as agreed" and gives history to two bureaus, it says terminated on their side. Tried again recently, no dice.

Would Penfed give me any advantage in applying for Amex? I would think it would ultimately be hitting Amex's records somewhere along the way, so I'm guessing it would be denied.
But maybe it can't hurt to try if this is all under one inquiry supposedly?

Thanks again for your advice with the card. Smiley Happy

Message 4 of 11

Re: PenFed, underwhelming but approved

Thanks. Yeah when it comes down to it, I guess patience is always the name of the game with CCs and scores. Not my strongest suit. Thanks for the encouragement @J91605. Who knows maybe I'll transfer some of my normal checking over to them too. Thanks again and have a nice day J9.

Message 5 of 11
Valued Contributor

Re: PenFed, underwhelming but approved

don't feel too discouraged, at least you are in with PenFed now!

Message 6 of 11

Re: PenFed, underwhelming but approved

True! Thanks.

Tried the PLOC and was denied. Just to see, can't hurt, I guess. 

I have a couple of 30/60s.

-Past or present delinquent account(s).
-Insufficient installment payment history.
-Length of time accounts have been established.

Now I'll just have to build it over time. Thanks again!

Message 7 of 11
Established Contributor

Re: PenFed, underwhelming but approved

Penfed Amex is issued by Penfed and not Amex. So go ahead and apply for one. I know it because when I applied I didn't have a chance with Amex so I thought hey why not get Amex card through someone else. 


If you truly want to get Amex Amex, then try their pre-qual. Most people have been able to get their cards after some time even if they didn't pay but the amount wasn't too large. If you burned them for in few hundreds of dollars, may be you can get it. Doesn't mean you will get the same treatment as someone who didn't burn them but at least you have a chance.

Message 8 of 11

Re: PenFed, underwhelming but approved

Awesome info thanks darwin_wins. Went ahead with it. I appreciate your advise. 


FYI anyone looking to know, the inquiry posted today (just one) HP from Equifax. 

Message 9 of 11
Established Contributor

Re: PenFed, underwhelming but approved

Glad to help!!

Message 10 of 11
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