Letter from CC company (Discover) re: current income

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DFWinvestor
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Letter from CC company (Discover) re: current income

Post by DFWinvestor » Wed May 28, 2014 7:53 am

This may be a bit of an ignorant question but I received a letter from Discover recently asking me to go online and update my income information. I found it a bit unusual and as far as I'm concerned they don't need to know my income given the fact that I have not carried a balance in 6+ years, and have not asked for an increased line of credit in at least five years.

Is this standard practice for CC companies? Do they have a right or a need to know this information, for someone who has been a cardholder for an extended period of time and does not carry a balance?

Johm221122
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Re: Letter from CC company (Discover) re: current income

Post by Johm221122 » Wed May 28, 2014 7:58 am

I had note when I logged on to up date mine with another company, they did not ask for documents or anything.I left it the same because my yearly income has stayed the same
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cheese_breath
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Re: Letter from CC company (Discover) re: current income

Post by cheese_breath » Wed May 28, 2014 8:06 am

Interesting. I've never been asked to update my income. I just checked my account, and it shows my income as zero. How long have you been a Discover card holder? I got mine when they just came out.
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DFWinvestor
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Re: Letter from CC company (Discover) re: current income

Post by DFWinvestor » Wed May 28, 2014 8:14 am

cheese_breath wrote:Interesting. I've never been asked to update my income. I just checked my account, and it shows my income as zero. How long have you been a Discover card holder? I got mine when they just came out.


I am approaching the 15 year mark. Got the card when I was a senior in college, it was my first CC at that time. Carried a balance intermittently throughout med school and residency, started moonlighting when I was in my last year of training, paid off the CC and have not carried a balance since 2007. Just seems really odd that they would approach me out of nowhere asking for updated info on my salary. Not only have I not asked for an increase in line of credit, but I really haven't been making any big purchases lately either.

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Re: Letter from CC company (Discover) re: current income

Post by livesoft » Wed May 28, 2014 8:15 am

LOL! I would ignore the letter.

I think they want some interaction from you so that they can send you more solicitations.
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Re: Letter from CC company (Discover) re: current income

Post by dodecahedron » Wed May 28, 2014 8:18 am

DFWinvestor wrote:Is this standard practice for CC companies? Do they have a right or a need to know this information, for someone who has been a cardholder for an extended period of time and does not carry a balance?


I don't think it is standard practice, but as far as "need to know", I didn't have a problem when they asked me recently, even though I also have been a cardholder for decades and do not carry a balance. Even though I don't carry a balance, any credit card that extends me a line of credit is potentially exposed to the risk that I may choose to use it at any given time. If I don't have means to pay it back, then that's a problem for them. (Though I do wonder why they don't ask about assets as well as income.)

Of course, I figure I have the right not to answer their question about income, but they have a corresponding right to cancel any currently unused portion of my credit line at any time. Since that credit line is useful to me (especially for travel, where hotels and car rentals can temporarily encumber more of the credit line than will actually be used), I figure it is in my interest to answer reasonable questions on their part.

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Re: Letter from CC company (Discover) re: current income

Post by cheese_breath » Wed May 28, 2014 8:20 am

It says on The Discover website... "We are required by federal regulation to use updated income when determining your credit line needs." So I guess they think you need credit, even if you don't. :D
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Re: Letter from CC company (Discover) re: current income

Post by SpringMan » Wed May 28, 2014 8:23 am

Discover has never asked us to update income. We have used the card for many years, including when I was working prior to 2004, the year I retired. Honestly I don't even know what our "current income" is. Earned income is 0, we do not work. Our income consists of SS and small pension, plus investment income from our taxable account. However, we have been converting some tIRA to Roth each year which, of course, bumps our taxable income. I hope Discover is clear about what number they are looking for. I do like the card, it is nice that they started including a credit rating score with their bill, plus 1% cash back.
Last edited by SpringMan on Wed May 28, 2014 8:27 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Letter from CC company (Discover) re: current income

Post by JamesSFO » Wed May 28, 2014 8:24 am

Lots of companies seem to be asking this more. May be part of the CFPB regulations/know your customer.

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Re: Letter from CC company (Discover) re: current income

Post by Andyrunner » Wed May 28, 2014 8:31 am

cheese_breath wrote:It says on The Discover website... "We are required by federal regulation to use updated income when determining your credit line needs." So I guess they think you need credit, even if you don't. :D


Based on this, I would assume they are just doing their compliance and in fact really don't care. I can see this being a requirement as many cc companies can take advantage of the the cc holder by increasing their rate while the persons income decreases. Basically person getting in more debt trouble than they already are in. Government watching out for the consumer.

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Re: Letter from CC company (Discover) re: current income

Post by Jon » Wed May 28, 2014 8:51 am

American Express has asked me to update my income information a couple of times, so Discover doing the same doesn't sound unusual.

DFWinvestor
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Re: Letter from CC company (Discover) re: current income

Post by DFWinvestor » Wed May 28, 2014 8:53 am

Andyrunner wrote:
cheese_breath wrote:It says on The Discover website... "We are required by federal regulation to use updated income when determining your credit line needs." So I guess they think you need credit, even if you don't. :D


Based on this, I would assume they are just doing their compliance and in fact really don't care. I can see this being a requirement as many cc companies can take advantage of the the cc holder by increasing their rate while the persons income decreases. Basically person getting in more debt trouble than they already are in. Government watching out for the consumer.


If that is the case I would be OK with it, although it seems that anyone could lie if they don't want verification.

I wonder if they want to offer me an increased line of credit (unsolicited by me) but cannot do so by law without this info.

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Re: Letter from CC company (Discover) re: current income

Post by kenyan » Wed May 28, 2014 8:57 am

DFWinvestor wrote:
Andyrunner wrote:
cheese_breath wrote:It says on The Discover website... "We are required by federal regulation to use updated income when determining your credit line needs." So I guess they think you need credit, even if you don't. :D


Based on this, I would assume they are just doing their compliance and in fact really don't care. I can see this being a requirement as many cc companies can take advantage of the the cc holder by increasing their rate while the persons income decreases. Basically person getting in more debt trouble than they already are in. Government watching out for the consumer.


If that is the case I would be OK with it, although it seems that anyone could lie if they don't want verification.

I wonder if they want to offer me an increased line of credit (unsolicited by me) but cannot do so by law without this info.


I just had this experience with another CC - Capital One Quicksilver - they offered me an unsolicited credit line increase, but did not immediately ask my income. I went online and had to fill out a couple of questions, including income, to receive the increase. Probably a better tactic than asking your income first.
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Re: Letter from CC company (Discover) re: current income

Post by Grt2bOutdoors » Wed May 28, 2014 9:02 am

Ignore it....unless you want them to give you a bigger credit line. :D
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Re: Letter from CC company (Discover) re: current income

Post by pondering » Sat Oct 21, 2017 7:18 am

At least one solicitation actually pointed out that this was to see if I qualified for a credit line increase.

My question is if it is considered an application for credit at that point.

Don't they already have access to my income?
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Re: Letter from CC company (Discover) re: current income

Post by RaphaelHythloday » Sat Oct 21, 2017 10:31 am

Under 12 CFR 1026.51, credit card issuers are required to consider your income (or assets) when granting a credit line increase. So issuers cannot unilaterally grant a credit line increase without obtaining recent financial information from you. It is permissible to rely on a statistical model for an income estimate, but it is a lot safer to rely on your stated income than trying to prove the validity of a statistical model to the CFPB.

Under 12 CFR 1026.59, if a rate on your account has been raised because of credit or other risk, the issuer is required to periodically re-evaluate the rate increase. This could require collecting financial information, but it doesn't sound like it applies to you.

You are free not to provide this information, and the most likely result is just that you will not be eligible to receive credit line increases. Of course, businesses are always free not to deal with you when you refuse to provide them with information they request, but that is usually not good business.

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Re: Letter from CC company (Discover) re: current income

Post by HueyLD » Sat Oct 21, 2017 10:48 am

Citi has been asking for my income every time I log into my account.

As long as they don't do anything to my credit line, I simply choose not to provide the information.

However, I guess I may need to cooperate at some point.

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Re: Letter from CC company (Discover) re: current income

Post by URSnshn » Sat Oct 21, 2017 12:08 pm

Why not call your cc company and ask what this is? I did, I do not have to submit the info and was told I could ignore it - turned out there was no obligation on my part to do anything at all.

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Re: Letter from CC company (Discover) re: current income

Post by Mitchell777 » Sat Oct 21, 2017 12:20 pm

I received one on a MasterCard. They wanted to make sure my credit limit was correct. I'm fine with the limit I have. I ignored it.

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Re: Letter from CC company (Discover) re: current income

Post by nisiprius » Sat Oct 21, 2017 1:10 pm

I keep getting asked this by Capital One. They say that they "need" it so that they can raise my credit line. Since I don't want them to raise my credit line, I keep ignoring it.
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Re: Letter from CC company (Discover) re: current income

Post by pondering » Sat Oct 21, 2017 2:19 pm

My wife's is a school teacher so her income is a matter of public record (yes, I have looked it up online to verify that)

Can anyone tell me once I am their customer what are their rights to looking up information about me? I would assume they have made me agree to a broad spectrum of information gathering.
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Re: Letter from CC company (Discover) re: current income

Post by JBTX » Sat Oct 21, 2017 2:55 pm

pondering wrote:
Sat Oct 21, 2017 2:19 pm
My wife's is a school teacher so her income is a matter of public record (yes, I have looked it up online to verify that)

Can anyone tell me once I am their customer what are their rights to looking up information about me? I would assume they have made me agree to a broad spectrum of information gathering.
I would assume they can look up anything reported to the credit agencies as they see fit.

Given you have your name and phone number in your signature, I'm not sure why you would be concerned. :wink:

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Re: Letter from CC company (Discover) re: current income

Post by pondering » Sat Oct 21, 2017 3:04 pm

I’m not sure why making it easy to contact me means I’m not concerned with what data companies have a right to collect.
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Re: Letter from CC company (Discover) re: current income

Post by azurekep » Sat Oct 21, 2017 3:28 pm

pondering wrote:
Sat Oct 21, 2017 3:04 pm
I’m not sure why making it easy to contact me means I’m not concerned with what data companies have a right to collect.
These days phone numbers are less a means of contact and more an identifier that intersects with a lot of personal information databases.

At the very least, everyone on the board can now pick up your dry cleaning. Though, yeah, you have to first tell us which cleaners you left your shirts at. ;)

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Re: Letter from CC company (Discover) re: current income

Post by pondering » Sat Oct 21, 2017 3:33 pm

Except that I don't use a dry cleaner.
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Re: Letter from CC company (Discover) re: current income

Post by TinkerPDX » Sat Oct 21, 2017 3:41 pm

Perhaps this info would make the other info they have about you more valuable to sell to others (and be valuable itself). Why not just ask?

I do periodically get this question when logging in online. I am in a phase where income is steadily increasing and where I want more credit for the sake of lowering utilization ratio, so I always update. Figure the bombardment of ads I get in mail, phone, online can't really get materially worse.

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TinkerPDX
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Re: Letter from CC company (Discover) re: current income

Post by TinkerPDX » Sat Oct 21, 2017 3:43 pm

pondering wrote:
Sat Oct 21, 2017 2:19 pm
My wife's is a school teacher so her income is a matter of public record (yes, I have looked it up online to verify that)

Can anyone tell me once I am their customer what are their rights to looking up information about me? I would assume they have made me agree to a broad spectrum of information gathering.
I doubt it gives them many more rights beyond credit report data, but they (like everyone else) can and probably do purchase lots of marketing-related data on you.

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Re: Letter from CC company (Discover) re: current income

Post by Tamales » Sat Oct 21, 2017 8:47 pm

TinkerPDX wrote:
Sat Oct 21, 2017 3:41 pm
Perhaps this info would make the other info they have about you more valuable to sell to others (and be valuable itself). Why not just ask?
Of course this is the reason they want this info. They aren't going to tell you that if you ask, and there's no penalty or enforcement for them lying about it. They will make some claim about federal law requiring it, to which you should say, please cite the statute where this is required.

A number of years ago, I provided income (but not assets) info for a new car loan. But in the past 15 years or so, I have never provided income or asset info to a credit card or any other credit/loan company. So it cannot possibly be a federal mandate that you need to provide this info for an existing account, unless it's a law that just went into effect.

They ask because most people won't challenge it, and will just give it to them.

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Re: Letter from CC company (Discover) re: current income

Post by Nicolas » Sat Oct 21, 2017 11:45 pm

Amex has a popup every time I log in asking me to update my income. I ignore it. They've also asked several times if I want to increase my credit limit. Since I don't need an increased limit I ignore these offers as well. I never carry a balance and have never paid them a penny in interest, fees, or for anything else, except occasionally when I rent a car I use their primary car rental insurance, $19.99 for $75k of coverage. I'm happy with Amex as their service and benefits are excellent.

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Re: Letter from CC company (Discover) re: current income

Post by downshiftme » Sun Oct 22, 2017 1:46 pm

Financial institutions are supposed to "know their customers" so they have been increasing efforts to get info like this. However there is no rule that you have to respond nor that they have to actually have this info on file to continue to do business with you. I routinely ignore such requests. If pressed, I typically lie and understate income, assets or any other financial questions in hopes of reducing my attractiveness as a marketing target for future sales efforts.

When responding to cold calls, I always want to appear to be the least prosperous target.

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Re: Letter from CC company (Discover) re: current income

Post by LadyGeek » Sun Oct 22, 2017 2:12 pm

This thread is now in the Personal Finance (Not Investing) forum (credit card).
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Re: Letter from CC company (Discover) re: current income

Post by Grogs » Mon Oct 23, 2017 7:19 am

downshiftme wrote:
Sun Oct 22, 2017 1:46 pm
Financial institutions are supposed to "know their customers" so they have been increasing efforts to get info like this. However there is no rule that you have to respond nor that they have to actually have this info on file to continue to do business with you. I routinely ignore such requests. If pressed, I typically lie and understate income, assets or any other financial questions in hopes of reducing my attractiveness as a marketing target for future sales efforts.

When responding to cold calls, I always want to appear to be the least prosperous target.
That's a good idea. Several years ago when I first started traveling I got a call from Hilton because I had just signed up for their HHonors program. They asked me what range my salary fell into, something like under $80k, $80-120k, $120-180k, etc. At the time I was in the under $80k range. When I answered, the lady on the phone said something like "Oh, well we don't have any offers to market to people in that salary range." No calls soliciting time shares or $500/night hotel rooms was fine by me.

As for CCs, I did ask for a limit increase on my Chase Amazon Visa because I wanted to use it on an international trip and the $1500 limit I had was probably too low. I did have to provide my salary info for that and they gave me the credit limit increase on the spot. Otherwise I usually don't bother updating the salary info.

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