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Credit card application - income verification?
Old 07-30-2018, 10:09 AM   #1
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Credit card application - income verification?

I recently applied for a First Tech "chip and PIN" credit card to use during an upcoming trip to Europe, based on positive reviews from many E-R.org members. I received an email stating that my application was approved, pending receipt of the "last 2 years of complete personal and business tax returns with all schedules." This struck me as highly unusual and something I'd be reluctant to do. My credit score is around 820, which I'd think would be high enough to warrant approval without an in-depth analysis of my recent tax returns to verify my income down to the penny. I always pay my credit card bills on time (most are set to auto pay) and my typical monthly CC spend is between $1,500 and $2,000.

I've never once been asked to provide tax returns for any credit card application--at least not that I can remember, and certainly not in the last 15 years--so I'm hesitant to email these documents to First Tech just to get a chip-and-PIN credit card.

Anyone else experience this kind of thing when applying for a credit card recently? If so, did you send in any requested tax return documents so your income could be verified?
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Old 07-30-2018, 10:16 AM   #2
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Sounds like last time I took out a mortgage. No, never provided (nor even asked for) tax returns for cc. I think I would look elsewhere if I were you but YMMV.
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Old 07-30-2018, 10:22 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Sojourner View Post
I recently applied for a First Tech "chip and PIN" credit card to use during an upcoming trip to Europe, based on positive reviews from many E-R.org members. I received an email stating that my application was approved, pending receipt of the "last 2 years of complete personal and business tax returns with all schedules." This struck me as highly unusual and something I'd be reluctant to do. My credit score is around 820, which I'd think would be high enough to warrant approval without an in-depth analysis of my recent tax returns to verify my income down to the penny. I always pay my credit card bills on time (most are set to auto pay) and my typical monthly CC spend is between $1,500 and $2,000.

I've never once been asked to provide tax returns for any credit card application--at least not that I can remember, and certainly not in the last 15 years--so I'm hesitant to email these documents to First Tech just to get a chip-and-PIN credit card.

Anyone else experience this kind of thing when applying for a credit card recently? If so, did you send in any requested tax return documents so your income could be verified?
No - they did not do that for me. Maybe go for a lower limit version of the card instead?
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Old 07-30-2018, 10:25 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Sojourner View Post
I recently applied for a First Tech "chip and PIN" credit card to use during an upcoming trip to Europe, based on positive reviews from many E-R.org members. I received an email stating that my application was approved, pending receipt of the "last 2 years of complete personal and business tax returns with all schedules." This struck me as highly unusual and something I'd be reluctant to do. My credit score is around 820, which I'd think would be high enough to warrant approval without an in-depth analysis of my recent tax returns to verify my income down to the penny. I always pay my credit card bills on time (most are set to auto pay) and my typical monthly CC spend is between $1,500 and $2,000.

I've never once been asked to provide tax returns for any credit card application--at least not that I can remember, and certainly not in the last 15 years--so I'm hesitant to email these documents to First Tech just to get a chip-and-PIN credit card.

Anyone else experience this kind of thing when applying for a credit card recently? If so, did you send in any requested tax return documents so your income could be verified?
Are you applying for a business card do you have a tax ID number...they saw something they didn't like, I would just move on to another chip and pin card if I was you. Did they give you a contact number or chat option? You could try that first.
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Credit card application - income verification?
Old 07-30-2018, 10:38 AM   #5
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Credit card application - income verification?

What is First Tech? Is it a credit union?

Edit: ok I see it is a credit union aligned with the tech sector. I see mixed reviews on deposit accounts.com. One poster reported the same experience as OP, but after complying, they insisted on IRS transcripts. Each time they thought all requirements were met, the CU asked for something else. I wouldn’t do it.
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Old 07-30-2018, 10:38 AM   #6
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... I would just move on to another chip and pin card if I was you. ...
+1 Sounds like this is a card company that has forgotten that they are not the customer, you are. I would simply say that I do not provide tax returns for minor credit transactions and ask whether they want the business anyway.

Probably if they are jerks in this instance they will continue to be jerks; another reason to move on.
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Old 07-30-2018, 11:21 AM   #7
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Never. I think last I checked it was 22 CC accounts I opened within last decade. I closed two last month. 150k+ of credit lines with all of them total, each offering different protections and benefits.
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Old 07-30-2018, 12:38 PM   #8
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I've never seen that, either. I just got an AA-branded credit card and I think that's my first one post-retirement. No income verification required.
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Old 07-30-2018, 12:43 PM   #9
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Mortgage yes, credit card no. Wouldn't do it either.
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Old 07-30-2018, 01:47 PM   #10
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+1 Sounds like this is a card company that has forgotten that they are not the customer, you are. I would simply say that I do not provide tax returns for minor credit transactions and ask whether they want the business anyway.
Your are far more well-mannered and polite than I would be. I'd tell 'em to pound sand.
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Old 07-30-2018, 02:10 PM   #11
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Never and I wouldn’t do it.
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Old 07-30-2018, 02:27 PM   #12
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Your are far more well-mannered and polite than I would be. I'd tell 'em to pound sand.
Yeah, I had two similar words...that I can't post here.
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Old 07-30-2018, 02:28 PM   #13
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Thanks for the feedback, everyone. I'm going to call or chat with them online to see what their response is when I tell them I won't be providing confidential tax return documents (via email, no less!) just for the privilege of using one of their credit cards. I'll calmly explain that I have an excellent credit score, never miss a CC payment, and have never been asked for income verification for any CC application ever and have never had an application rejected. I'll report back how that conversation goes.
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Old 07-30-2018, 02:30 PM   #14
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When Amex had the Costco business, I asked for an increase on my credit limit. They asked for the income before they would do the algorithm. I put the accurate number in the box and hit enter. Came back pending. A few days later, I got a letter in the mail requesting I sign the IRS transcript form for four years and provide some other documentation. No way was I giving them that. Plenty of other fish in the credit card sea. Costco probably lost some business as a result.

Fast forward to a couple of months ago. Citi inherited the card and did not change the limit. I figured, let's ask and see what happens. Limit was doubled immediately, no hard credit pull ever appeared.

I'm sure their loss prediction algorithms are very different and maybe AMEX's are better.
But, really, AMEX? I have paid my bills on time and in full for decades. How could you miss that?
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Old 07-30-2018, 03:22 PM   #15
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For them a payer beats a non-payer, but both are topped by a minimum payer.
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Old 07-30-2018, 03:23 PM   #16
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For the record, costco Citi Visa card did ask me for the annual household income and a credit report pull. No hard proof needed though. And the limit I asked was $40k.

I have been dodging the annual income question for a decade so far and not providing the answer. But they finally got me! They said the request can't be processed until I answer the income question.
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Old 07-30-2018, 03:38 PM   #17
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When Amex had the Costco business, ...
Amex is a company with an attitude. Many years ago when I was in graduate school I applied for and received an Amex card. Stupid child, I believer that it was prestigious. A year or so later with no late payments or other issues, they canceled the card. So ... when making any other loan/credit applications I had to disclose that I had been cancelled. For no reason. I am sure that cost me.

Since then I have never even considered carrying Amex. Also, when I had my business I refused to take Amex. Their little fit of arrogance probably cost them tens of thousand of $$ in swipe fees.

So, @Sojourner, was Amex your problem company?
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Old 07-30-2018, 03:49 PM   #18
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I have had a number of credit cards/credit card applications since retiring. Amex was one of them.

Only one requested that I forward a copy of my income tax assessment. It was not Amex.
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Old 07-30-2018, 05:05 PM   #19
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Thanks for the feedback, everyone. I'm going to call or chat with them online to see what their response is when I tell them I won't be providing confidential tax return documents (via email, no less!) just for the privilege of using one of their credit cards. I'll calmly explain that I have an excellent credit score, never miss a CC payment, and have never been asked for income verification for any CC application ever and have never had an application rejected. I'll report back how that conversation goes.
Or just apply for a Barclay's card. They work well in chip-and-PIN Europe (somehow the same 4-digit PIN works at ATMs in America and on the PIN devices in Europe, which doesn't happen with most cards).

They have some good ones that give you some travel rewards and protections. I think mine was an Aviator MasterCard.
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Old 07-30-2018, 05:09 PM   #20
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Since then I have never even considered carrying Amex. Also, when I had my business I refused to take Amex. Their little fit of arrogance probably cost them tens of thousand of $$ in swipe fees.
Sort of the same thing happened to me. Forty-plus years ago when I had an airplane I applied for an Exxon (then Esso) credit card because the fuel at the airport was Esso brand and I figured it'd just be convenient to have. They denied the application saying that I "didn't meet their standards". Okay. I think I've bought Exxon gas one time since then and then only because the tank was near empty. And I certainly never applied again for one of their credit cards.
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