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June 24th, 2001

More Fun With Credit

[see also: Banktastic and Banktastic II]

I’ve recently discussed at length with friends about the joy of one’s credit rating. I feel it’s got an overimportant status in American society, in that it’s often the yea/nay when it comes to lots of important decisions.

But I got a taste of it myself. I’ve been hankerin’ to buy a new computer, and I wanted to shop around for a good credit card deal. Blue from American Express offered 0.0% APR for six months, and 10.99% thereafter – both of which are fantastic. I applied online and was approved with a credit limit equal to the one on the card this was replacing. Not bad, but I knew I’d need more to get a computer.

So, I put in a request for a line increase. This week I got the decision: no. I have never been late on paying anything, ever. I pay my bills on time if not earlier, and in full. I have a student loan and a car loan outstanding, but that’s it. So I called and asked why. The reason? My credit report had been accessed more frequently than normal in March – the month I bought my car. Mind you, every time anyone accesses your credit report, you lose a point or two. The points are usually all that are looked at, but AmEx obviously does more.

Despite the fact that my credit is fine, I was denied that increase just because I needed to use credit. And, I wanted to use more credit – basically, give AmEx more business – but they said no. So what is someone like me supposed to do when it comes time to buy a house? I have bulletproof credit – just not a whole lot of it. The credit score rules your life, and I don’t think it’s entirely fair. What do you think? -pm

Posted in Miscellaneous

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