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Should I cancel some credit cards?

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Frequent Contributor

Re: Should I cancel some credit cards?

Underwriter here.. if the bank says you have a DTI issue - you have 3 ways to remedy;

1. Decrease your loan balances

2. Increase your income

3. Both

Personal cards:
Amex Blue Cash Preferred | Capital One Quicksilver VS | Chase Freedom VS | Chase IHG Select WMC | Discover It | NFCU CashRewards MC | US Bank Cash+ VS
Business cards:
Amex Blue Business Cash (Hidden TL)
Total Credit Lines: $150K, DTI: 1%
In the Garden!
July 2020 FICO 8 Scores: EX 808 | EQ 820 | TU 820
Will answer questions about underwriting.
Message 31 of 38
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Re: Should I cancel some credit cards?


Financial institutions have a variety of ways to validate the income you claim.  There are numerous data brokers and secondary consumer data reporting agencies that maintain databases they can use to validate income.  One such source is Equifax's The Work Number which is used to verify employment history and income.  Some lenders, like American Express, will sometimes demand IRS Form 4605-T so they can get a transcript of your tax returns directly from the IRS.

I've never been asked for that from from Amex, and we have a credit limit of over $60K with them (and that doesn't include the Amex charge cards, only the credit cards). Regarding The Work Number, that appears to be an opt-in service for the employee (that is, you have to register in order to get your salary info to people who need to see it).

Message 32 of 38
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Re: Should I cancel some credit cards?


@plaidington wrote:

Underwriter here.. if the bank says you have a DTI issue - you have 3 ways to remedy;

1. Decrease your loan balances

2. Increase your income

3. Both


OK, that's pretty much been confirmed. But we still haven't definitively established how they know what my income is, other than what I tell them. Even if The Work Number, discussed in the previous post, is a valid way, is rental income seen? That goes directly from my tenants into my business bank account, or occasionally by Paypal, which is then deposited directly into my bank account. Without my rental income, it's going to look like I'm seriously overextended, but obviously that's not the case, since I'm able to keep up on all my payments.

Message 33 of 38
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Mega Contributor

Re: Should I cancel some credit cards?


@Saeren wrote:

If you can't remember what app you put in, you should probably be freezing your credit reports so that you don't let fraud slip because you thought you may have applied for something. I personally would be very concerned if I lost track of what I applied for even once. I can tell you every app I have made since 10/2016 - who it was and what month and who they pulled. I couldn't fathom not being able to recall a more recent app. 


Right, but that's just another example of "we are all different"!   For most people not on forums like this, it certainly wouldn't occur to them that this is worth tracking (and they would ask "what do you mean, 'who they pulled'?"!)   And even for some here, including myself, that's way too much detail.   Basically I app now and then for a card I want, if I get it, done, if not,  I will forget it soon enough

Message 34 of 38
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Super Contributor

Re: Should I cancel some credit cards?


@RunningWithScissors wrote:

@plaidington wrote:

Underwriter here.. if the bank says you have a DTI issue - you have 3 ways to remedy;

1. Decrease your loan balances

2. Increase your income

3. Both


OK, that's pretty much been confirmed. But we still haven't definitively established how they know what my income is, other than what I tell them. Even if The Work Number, discussed in the previous post, is a valid way, is rental income seen? That goes directly from my tenants into my business bank account, or occasionally by Paypal, which is then deposited directly into my bank account. Without my rental income, it's going to look like I'm seriously overextended, but obviously that's not the case, since I'm able to keep up on all my payments.


They can get astonishingly close to your income using your spending patterns, location, information from services like EWS that track your bank account balances, and other sources. The information these companies track is mind blowing and we all let them. 




Message 35 of 38
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Super Contributor

Re: Should I cancel some credit cards?


@longtimelurker wrote:

@Saeren wrote:

If you can't remember what app you put in, you should probably be freezing your credit reports so that you don't let fraud slip because you thought you may have applied for something. I personally would be very concerned if I lost track of what I applied for even once. I can tell you every app I have made since 10/2016 - who it was and what month and who they pulled. I couldn't fathom not being able to recall a more recent app. 


Right, but that's just another example of "we are all different"!   For most people not on forums like this, it certainly wouldn't occur to them that this is worth tracking (and they would ask "what do you mean, 'who they pulled'?"!)   And even for some here, including myself, that's way too much detail.   Basically I app now and then for a card I want, if I get it, done, if not,  I will forget it soon enough


I didn't join this board until 9/2018 and I can tell you that I have always tracked what cards I apply for. Seems like something that is important to remember but maybe that's just me. 🤷‍♂️ 




Message 36 of 38
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Senior Contributor

Re: Should I cancel some credit cards?


@RunningWithScissors wrote:

I've never been asked for that from from Amex, and we have a credit limit of over $60K with them (and that doesn't include the Amex charge cards, only the credit cards). Regarding The Work Number, that appears to be an opt-in service for the employee (that is, you have to register in order to get your salary info to people who need to see it).


The Work Number is not opt-in for the employee, but the employer.

My current employer uses it, so I grabbed my report to see what was on there, and they had one early and my current job on there with full financial information (it was missing a nice gap of 14 years as not all of my employers used it).   Even whether or not I had retirement/medical benefits.

F8 EQ: 804 | EX: 794 | TU: 801 | Accounts: 1/6 3/12 8/24
Happy practitioner of AZE7 | Team Finances > FICO
Message 37 of 38
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Moderator Emeritus

Re: Should I cancel some credit cards?


@longtimelurker wrote:

@Saeren wrote:

If you can't remember what app you put in, you should probably be freezing your credit reports so that you don't let fraud slip because you thought you may have applied for something. I personally would be very concerned if I lost track of what I applied for even once. I can tell you every app I have made since 10/2016 - who it was and what month and who they pulled. I couldn't fathom not being able to recall a more recent app. 


Right, but that's just another example of "we are all different"!   For most people not on forums like this, it certainly wouldn't occur to them that this is worth tracking (and they would ask "what do you mean, 'who they pulled'?"!)   And even for some here, including myself, that's way too much detail.   Basically I app now and then for a card I want, if I get it, done, if not,  I will forget it soon enough


Pretty much this ^^^

Message 38 of 38
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