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Other Customers' Credit History Could Affect Your Own?

Other Customers' Credit History Could Affect Your Own?

If you thought credit card companies monitoring your own spending behavior sounded suspicious, wait until you hear about the latest buzz in the world of credit. For several months, American Express developed its own system for tracking spending patterns — it's been making assumptions about its customers based on the credit of other clientele who shopped in the same stores.

American Express has stated it has stopped the practice of cutting credit card limits based on this unique way of monitoring spending behavior, but for a time many customers saw their credit lines slashed for no fault of their own. The New York Times reports that customers received letters of explanation from the company stating things like, "Other customers who have used their card at establishments where you recently shopped have a poor repayment history with American Express."

I'm relieved American Express has discontinued using this data to evaluate its customers, but am alarmed that the company was doing this in the first place. What's your reaction?


Join The Conversation
wackdoodle wackdoodle 8 years
Well this makes about as much sense as the fact the your credit score and FICO is also based partial on where you live. If you live in a undesirable neighbor where at least 50% of the residents making under $30K and don't have credit or have bad credit - they are being held against you even if you always pay on time and have a hire salary. That's been the case for years. Each neighborhood and each city has a numerical rating issued by the big 3 bureaus based on stereotypes about who lives in those neighborhoods. And there's nothing you can do to have that neighborhood rating not negatively impact your credit rating and FICO.
cvandoorn cvandoorn 8 years happened to me! American Express slashed my credit limit by quite a lot. Bills are always paid in full and on time. I got that lame excuse Savvy mentioned in her post. I am happy they stopped doing it, but my credit limit hasn't been increased to its original amount. Plus it probably made a dent on my own credit rating. Bah!
emalove emalove 8 years
Eek...that's ridiculous!! I have very good credit and I would be pissed if someone else's affected mine in any way.
lilkimbo lilkimbo 8 years
This is stupid/unfair. However, when you get a credit card, you actually have very few rights in relation to credit limit, etc.
fitgirlFL fitgirlFL 8 years
What moron actually thought this would be a good idea?!?!?!? I am so glad I don't do business with them. That is just beyond stupid and insanely unfair.
SDTransplant SDTransplant 8 years
That is the dumbest and most unfair practice, but not surprising. Good thing they stopped the practice (for now).
Smacks83 Smacks83 8 years
It is such a stupid idea. Lumping people like that isn't fair. I for one always pay on time and my whole balance at the end of every month so I would hate to be put in the same pool as others who let their pyaments lag on forever just because we have the same taste in certain things (clothing stores, supermarkets...ect).
ilanac13 ilanac13 8 years
i think that it's WRONG if you're being punished for how others are. just because you choose to shop at certain places (high end or lower end) shouldn't give a credit card company the authority to cut your limit...because others who shop there are less responsible. it's just upsetting if you think about it. sometimes i shop places that are out of character for me, but i would HATE to have those affect my limit because of folks who shop there and default on their debt
aimeeb aimeeb 8 years
I think it's well...stupid. Even just thinking about my friends spending habits and mine alone they are VERY different and I wouldn't want to be jumbled in with just anyone who shops at the same store as myself.
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