Long memories?

Where you can talk about store credit cards, like gas station cards, department store cards, etc.
3 posts
LessIsMore
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Long memories?

Postby LessIsMore » Wed Mar 04, 2015 8:01 am

I've always been curious about something. I've tried twice to acquire a credit card with Sears ... their standalone store credit card and their MasterCard. Both times, I was denied. Interestingly, shortly after I was denied the Sears MasterCard, I applied for a CitiBank Diamond Preferred MasterCard - and was approved instantly with (at the time) the highest CL of any card I had. Thing is, Sears MasterCard is issued through CitiBank.

Back in 2006, after a costly divorce, I filed a Chapter 13 bankruptcy. And one of the credit cards I had at the time was a Sears standalone credit card. I was wondering if this might be the "real" reason I'm being denied - eg., Sears having a "long memory" and denying cards to people who previously "stiffed" them. I certainly wouldn't blame them for this practice - but it would be nice to know the truth.
"People with a clever plan can assume the role of the mighty."
Paul Kantner


Brad Bishop
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Postby Brad Bishop » Wed Mar 04, 2015 8:37 am

A few things come to mind:

It depends on what "sniffed" them means. A cursory glance at Chap 13 on Wikipedia suggests that it's a court negotiated payback order.

If you bought a $5000 lawn tractor, made a few payments on it but owed $4500 on it when everything went down the tubes and never paid them back for that then you could understand how they may have a tendency to remember that sort of thing in their DB.

If it was a $4500 balance @ 24.99%APR and, through Chap 13, you did pay them back but at 0% or close to 0% APR then it seems like they'd be miffed but less miffed.

My guess is that they keep information around for a 10 years mainly because that's one of the nice round numbers humans choose. It seems like getting a Sears card ought to be fairly easy for even the worst borrowers because of it's high interest rate and being a store-only card.

I think American Express keeps data for 10 years, too, based on what I've read as a similar example.

Your random banks are all competing against each other so I think they more stick to your credit report rather than a database of past experiences with them. With Chase, for example, if they don't give you a Visa because 9 years back you had some bumps with them, then Bank of America will and not care. Either way the product is a Visa.

With Sears and American Express the product is more "locked in" to them. You're not going to get a Sears card from somewhere else. While you can get an American Express card from various banks, it's far less common than just getting it straight from them AND they had already established their rules and database prior to letting others issue cards on their network.

These are all just educated guesses so take them with a grain of salt.

If you're divorce was in 2006 then I'd say apply again in 2017 and my thought is that you're likely to get the Sears card. I'd also question why you'd want one when you could just get a Visa or MasterCard from just about any bank and use that at Sears or anywhere else but I understand that you may have your reasons. Just something to think about.

LessIsMore
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Postby LessIsMore » Wed Mar 04, 2015 4:15 pm

Brad Bishop wrote:It depends on what "sniffed" them means.


Actually, I said "stiffed" not "sniffed" (grin).

Brad Bishop wrote:A cursory glance at Chap 13 on Wikipedia suggests that it's a court negotiated payback order.


True, but everything is relative. My ex filed a Chapter 7 in 2005 ... and her creditors came after me. I was handling my own debts just fine until then. And I didn't file a Chapter 13 until 2 of those creditors (not Sears) threatened court action.

Chapter 13 "categorizes" debt into 3 categories - priority debt, secured debt, and unsecured debt. Priority debt is money owed to a government agency (ie., IRS), the filer's attorney, or the court. It's paid first and in full. Then comes secured debt. I had no debt considered secured. Unsecured debt is paid last and only up to a percentage allowed by the court - debt by debt. I had some unsecured debt (like my Sears card charges). But the lion's share of the debt was my ex's ($28k - mostly created over the six month period between when I filed for divorce and the 1st hearing). In my case, the court ordered that only 30% of my unsecured consumer debt was to be paid back. Creditor attorney fees were also listed as unsecured debt as was interest on the debt - but the court didn't pay a penny of those amounts.

The judge was very angry at my ex at how she accumulated such debt (and when) and ordered her to pay her own debts. But his court order was superceded by community property law when she filed Chapter 7 (sigh).

Brad Bishop wrote:I'd also question why you'd want one when you could just get a Visa or MasterCard from just about any bank and use that at Sears or anywhere else but I understand that you may have your reasons.


My Sears charges were service-related (repair to a garage door spring, repair of a microwave oven, etc.). One of the nice things about Sears (and the reason I'd really like a card) is they have agreements with several local contractors who do repair work - and agree to accept a Sears card for payment. Not sure about now but, back then, Sears had a relationship with Budget Rent-a-Car ... and would give discounts if rental charges were put on a Sears card. And, a number of Sears locations maintain auto-service facilities ... and give discounts on repair work charged to a Sears card along with a loaner car (provided by Budget Rent-a-Car at a discount).

The advantage of all that is, in every case I've used them, I was provided with prompt and courteous service I could "trust." With a VISA/MC, I'd not get the discounts - and would have to shop around - possibly ending up with service performed by people I "shouldn't" trust. I suppose I could use VISA/MC at Sears - but not at a discount (unless it was a Sears MasterCard).
"People with a clever plan can assume the role of the mighty."
Paul Kantner



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