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When Bad Credit Card Offers Happen to Good People

May 12th, 2014 at 11:12 am

What is average credit?

With today's mail was an application from Capital One for a Cash Rewards credit card, $39 annual fee, APR 18.9%. I went online to see how this card ranked, and one source said it was for consumers with average credit scores, like 689 FICO. The text was that my credit information had been reviewed, and this was the "right" offer for me "... right now."

If our purchases and spending are monitored under close scrutiny, I don't see how I'd be offered an average credit card. I have: one 12-year mortgage with under ten years left to go, one HELOC with 22% utilization at present, one store card ($2500 limit, max balance $89, always paid in full) and two credit cards (7-year, 12-year) none of which has ever seen more than 10% utilization at any time, always paid on time and in full. The variable APRs on those cards are 6.24% and 6.9% respectively. Two years ago I had a credit score of 798, reported by Bank of America. My non-revolving balances owing have gone down. I have not defaulted on anything, no bankruptcies, no foreclosures, no repossessions. I check my annual credit report free, and regularly. I saw no incorrect reports when I last checked five months ago.

Does Capital One send out credit card offers of fair to average quality to any and all addresses a credit bureau has for sale without any credit background filtering? How frequent does credit card activity have to be to keep a credit score close to constant?

Credit.com, creditkarma.com, all these credit cards sites have NOTHING on credit card companies sending out crap offers to people. Credit card companies hire really smart people to develop data algorithms and data mining, and marketing people to come up with cards for each credit score strata. Why don't the credit card companies look at credit scores of people and send them the right card for them instead of one "average" card for just anybody?

4 Responses to “When Bad Credit Card Offers Happen to Good People”

  1. Another Reader Says:

    You have been tracked and targeted. Read this article:

    http://www.worldprivacyforum.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/WPF_Scoring_of_America_April2014_fs.pdf

    The article is repetitive and a little overdramatic, but the sum total of the bits of who you are to creditors and marketing folks is what caused you to get that offer.

  2. PauletteGoddard Says:

    the sum total of the bits But not my use of credit. Could also be that "prescreened" means sending direct mail garbage to 48 million people. It's like those omnipresent C1AL1$ and V1@GRA spam: it takes only a handful of suckers to make sending those garbage messages worth their while.

  3. Another Reader Says:

    They could have sent the offer to your neighborhood, based on the aggregate credit profile of the neighborhood. You may have been a good girl, but your neighbors may not. Your neighborhood has a consumer profile as well. Maybe the brand of toothpaste most often bought on your block is linked to a higher chance any given resident won't pay their bills on time. Big data needs to sell itself, so the slicing and dicing goes on.

  4. PauletteGoddard Says:

    It's that kinda data mining crap and stoopid algorithms that do in businesses like PayPal. "Oh you bought vehicle gas in Bellevue, where H1-B people working at tech companies buy gas, and as H1-B people make multiple transactions overseas we can only assume you make multiple transactions overseas but you're not an H1-B person at a tech company therefore you are a T3rr0r15t. Account blocked!"

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