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Proof of Permanent Residency or Citizenship for CC App
Old 07-21-2008, 05:26 PM   #1
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Proof of Permanent Residency or Citizenship for CC App

The LL Bean credit card I have was discontinued, so I applied for the new one to avail of the free shipping.

I applied online but got a letter back saying:
Because of information contained in your credit bureau report, we must verify that you are a permanent resident or citizen of the United States.

Then it goes on to ask me to provide them via mail within 30 days some proof such as copy of US birth cert, cert of naturalization, copy of US passport, or other proof; otherwise, they won't consider my application.

Is there a new law now that requires this proof before being granted a credit card? I have not ever had to provide proof of permanent residency or citizenship before.

I also reviewed my TransUnion credit history report which they cited but could not see what trigger information they were referring to. I suppose I can call TransUnion and ask what info they provided about my citizenship status.

Has anyone else applied recently for a card and been asked for this kind of proof? I guess I am wondering if giving them even more info about me would make it worse for me were I ever to become a subject/victim of identity theft.
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Old 07-21-2008, 05:38 PM   #2
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I applied for a card last month and although they did say they might require me to prove my identity before they could complete my application, they never did. They never asked about my citizenship status either.
47 years old, single, no kids. Exited the job market in 2010 (age 36). Have lived solely off my investments since 2015 (age 41). No pensions.
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Old 07-21-2008, 05:56 PM   #3
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Remember this forum and the 0% interest/invest the diff in MM and earn interest game a while back? Even though I stopped doing that -

My credit rating has been downgraded severely recently - I have way too much credit for my 'cheap bastard income'.

Sub prime and all that - we are seeing some very strange perturbations - it makes me wonder if the guys in charge of these corporations have all the cards in their deck.

heh heh heh -
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Late Update
Old 08-12-2008, 09:31 AM   #4
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Late Update

I was stoozing, too, but I paid off all my balances this year. I never pay for my credit report so I don't know if my score was lowered because of stoozing.

Within the last few weeks, I called Trans Union, who said that they reveal no immigration/citizenship info on the credit report. I got free copies of my Trans Union credit report and I confirmed this.

I also called the FDIC Consumer Response Center and the person to whom I talked said that there is no new law, that financial institutions have always been able to do this--ask for immigration/citizenship documentation--although they do not always exercise it. She said that maybe my SSN triggered the query.

I don't know why the bank just did not state what specific piece of data was the trigger, instead of the general clause "because of information contained in your credit report".

I haven't called the bank. There is no phone number that I could easily find for it. I also haven't decided if I will send them a copy of my passport pages.

Oh well, that adds another unresolved issue in my life, although it is a minor one--losing free shipping for LL Bean.
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Old 08-12-2008, 10:11 AM   #5
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It's most likely the USA Patriot Act. It placed a legal burden on financial institutions to verify the identify of account holders and many use - and abuse - the USAPA to request info and data not directly required for other purposes. No law prevents that, nor does the Patriot Act, but it is a convenient excuse when one challenges a specific data request.

For a financial account domiciled in the US with a valid SS number there is no additional legal requirement to provide residency or citizenship - this is entirely at the initiative of the institution.

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Old 08-12-2008, 08:54 PM   #6
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I would call and ask for someone in the retention dept if there is such a thing or LL Bean Customer Service and maybe they can help. I often get the impression the financial side gets overzelous and drives good customers away rather than enhancing the retail side.
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Old 08-13-2008, 06:34 AM   #7
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Perhaps someone is working/living under your SS# (i.e - one of the 20 million + illegal aliens in this country) but not using your identity for credit (yet) . Evidence of this can show up on one of a number of private data mining services the CC company might be using. Americans with Hispanic surnames are more susceptible to this happening to them, but nobody is immune.

Go visit Social Security and tell them you suspect someone may be using your SS #. Ask them to screen your account for "scrambled earnings". ("scrambled earnings" is when an SS account shows employers in different areas of the country reporting income on the same SS# at the same time) You may find out you have a job at a furniture plant in N. Carolina and another at a chicken plant in Arkansas.
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Old 08-13-2008, 05:03 PM   #8
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Don't forget to get your credit report from the fourth credit agency, Innovis. They don't like to advertise, so you may have to jump through hoops to get it.
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Old 08-19-2008, 04:18 AM   #9
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i dont know but when i was trying for a credit card they had asked for my residential status and documents i gave it them. i got my card only after that
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Old 08-19-2008, 04:55 AM   #10
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I just got a new card from my brokerage's affiliated bank via online application...I hit the send button before I finished the application, but a few days later the card shows up. Didn't even get as far as the SS# on the app. On the other hand, I had an LL Bean CC account, which is now a BofA account. They keep increasing my credit limit...fine, but whenever I make a big purchase or try to use the card in a new country, it is very inconveniently denied, and I have to call them and wait on hold for 30 minutes to explain to someone that I am in Hong Kong buying furniture and I really really need my CC to work....pain in the @$$, and very costly from a hotel phone.

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Old 08-19-2008, 01:00 PM   #11
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Off thread topic, but...

Rambler, before I went to Japan last year, I called my credit card company to say, "yes, I'm going overseas, and you will be seeing charges. Make a note, please."

I had no problems.

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