Wrong Card Application By Bank of America – What To Do?

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Here’s a crappy story about BOA from our reader:

My situation is I’m trying to establish my credit for employment purposes, my score is ~550, I have no accounts in good standing b/c I actively tried to avoid having credit cards in the past.

I took advice from you and others & decided to try self-credit repair by borrowing against my own money using small secured loans and secured credit. I went to Bank of America and applied for a $500 secured credit card. A week later I got a denial letter that said I applied for a “Platinum Plus Mastercard”. This is obviously not what I asked for and I knew before I went I don’t qualify for that. I was totally honest with the bank employee, the vice president of that small branch, in telling her I have 2 old chargeoffs for utility bills amounting to $300 of past debts that will be on my report, can’t qualify for unsecured cards, etc– and that I have $500 of savings I want to borrow against using a secured card with intention to establish a good standing account on my report.

I feel like I was misled by BoA policy & procedure by not considering me for the correct product which I asked for and they advertise. This feels like a game to justify why they can’t give me a secured account with no risk. Now my credit report has a new pull for a credit product I didn’t even ask for. I guess I’ll send them a letter, but what else can I do?

Thank you for the site

J Smithwick

Thank Mr Smithwick for your email. We’re sorry to hear about what happened and that is really another idiotic thing BOA did. Bank of America is really a strange creature. I know for a fact that for example, their secured credit cards are not issued to those out of bankruptcy (even though it is “secured” by a deposit!). But I wouldn’t hold everything against BOA. Chances are that the branch manager did not know any better and he probably has very few folks come to him wanting a secured credit card.

If I were you, I would worry about the pull on the credit report. Yes, it’ll ding a few points in the short run. But what you are concerned is building your credit history. Getting a secured card is still the best way to go.

You can take your $500 and try getting a secured card with say a Public Savings Bank Secured Card. They are one of the rare secured credit card that does not charge an annual fee, allows you to deposit up to $100,000 (though that is not so important in your case), reports to the 3 credit bureaus and has a 25 day grace period. They also claim not to check credit reports, income or employment. You might want to give this a shot.

Or you can shop around for any credit unions near your place. Just make sure they report to the three credit bureaus as you want to rebuild your credit. Also, do not carry balance. Just pay in full every month and as far as credit score is concerned, you should be able to get your scores to above 600 in about a years time or even shorter.

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One Response to “Wrong Card Application By Bank of America – What To Do?”

  1. Neil Says:

    Hi

    Knowlegde of specialist products for people with credit issues is often very poor in the branch network of mainstream financial institutions. Best (as is suggested above) to go to an organization that specialize in these products.

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