Topic Wiki

1)   What is a Financial Review?
In short - American Express occasionally freezes the credit card accounts of individuals with high-risk patterns, or for new account holders.
They request a lot of personal information, such as IRS tax returns, bank statements, letters from Banks ectÖ

Letís break it down into 2 different types of Financial Reviews
A)   Mini Financial Review
B)   Financial Review

A)   Mini Financial Review

(please fill in info) This form of financial review, is usually a short process, it could be as short as one phone call. American Express might feel a need to verify your finances for whatever reason, and they could call you to verify information. Your accounts could be suspended from using until you get in touch with them, typically they will restore your accounts after a simple phone call.

B)   Financial Review
This type of Financial Review is very common. It often happens when opening a new account for the first time, usually if you are opening a Charge Card, or a Business Card or if on a new account you start off will a lot of high spending.
American Express will suspend your account/s, they will not remove the suspension until the review is over, which takes around 2 weeks.

If you cannot provide the required information, shut down your account right away.

2)   Triggers

Look below for a list of triggers and links.
 
3)   What will happen?
Your accounts will get suspended. You will be able to log in online, and see account activity, but you will get a message that charging is suspended.

They will contact you via phone and email. Once you get in touch with them, (typically) you will be assigned a specific representative to work on your case.

The will require mainly IRS Tax returns. The point of a Financial Review is to verify your income. They may also require Back statements, a letter from a Bank to verify your address, and other documents. People have reported that they did survive a Financial Review with just bank statements.

As long as you could provide the documents they request you will be fine, they might lower your credit lines, but you should be able keep your account open. Even as low as a $6000 tax return people have been able to survive a Financial Review.

In cases of a Financial Review after opening a Business Card, you will need proof of Business income.

If you cannot provide the required information, shut down your account right away.

As long as you could provide the documents they request you will be fine, they might lower your credit lines, but you should be able keep your account open. Even as low as a $6000 tax return people have been able to survive a Financial Review.

4)   What Steps Should I take?

Get in touch with Amex as soon as you could. Send in the request inform promptly. You will have a rep that will be working with you, and telling you what documents are needed. 4506-t is a transcript request from the IRS for you last tax return. You will need to fill out this form, fax it to Amex, it will take them 24-48 hours until they receive this form, they will request the tax return from the IRS that could take about a week.

Important: you only have 2 attempts to send them the fax, if they reject it after 2 attempts you will get shut down. You don't get more than 2 attempts. (source)
You may be able to get 3 attempts if you ask for a manager.

You need to be on top of it, if you donít follow thru, they could shut your accounts down.


5)   What to do if American Express closed your accounts?

Once American Express closes your accounts, the only way to get back on is if you have the required information needed to pass a Financial Review. They will require you to request a 4506 form from the IRS (which will cost you $57) before they even approve any of your future applications.


To start you may want to read up here:

F/R triggers:
[/color]


Credit line of $25k or more
http://www.dansdeals.com/forums/index.php?topic=1438.msg10906#msg10906

Family member receiving FR can cause other family members to get Fr'ed as well
http://www.dansdeals.com/forums/index.php?topic=6223.msg74003#msg74003 http://www.dansdeals.com/forums/index.php?topic=8.msg24759#msg24759

Living at same address as someone who was FR'ed
http://www.dansdeals.com/forums/index.php?topic=8.msg77046#msg77046

Using majority of CL
http://www.dansdeals.com/forums/index.php?topic=7526.msg87716#msg87716

Large cash advance
http://www.dansdeals.com/forums/index.php?topic=5908.msg82906#msg82906

Nothing...
http://www.dansdeals.com/forums/index.php?topic=2723.msg30062#msg30062

Changing name on business card
http://www.dansdeals.com/forums/index.php?topic=3589.msg38101#msg38101

Mint purchases
http://www.dansdeals.com/forums/index.php?topic=146.msg22932#msg22932

Amex Gift Card Purchases
http://www.dansdeals.com/forums/index.php?topic=2422.msg26670#msg26670
http://www.dansdeals.com/forums/index.php?topic=8.msg40106#msg40106

Unusual spending
http://www.dansdeals.com/forums/index.php?topic=8.msg7627#msg7627
http://www.dansdeals.com/forums/index.php?topic=3710.msg39597#msg39597

Amazon payments (possibly)
http://www.dansdeals.com/forums/index.php?topic=3657.msg88656#msg88656
http://www.dansdeals.com/forums/index.php?topic=3524.msg42436#msg42436

Using close to reported income
http://www.dansdeals.com/archives/2537

Logging in online too much (!)
http://www.dansdeals.com/forums/index.php?topic=8.msg13741#msg13741

Prepaying
http://www.dansdeals.com/forums/index.php?topic=1712.msg13732#msg13732
http://www.dansdeals.com/forums/index.php?topic=3710.msg39725#msg39725

Adding Cardholders (many?)
http://www.dansdeals.com/forums/index.php?topic=8.msg49318#msg49318

Refunds exceeding total payments made on the card since it was opened
http://forums.dansdeals.com/index.php?topic=8.msg845606#msg845606
[/font]
Though not exactly F/R, it's worth mentioning that Amex takes returned payments very seriously.
They often shut all accounts without going through the F/R process.

Author Topic: Amex F/R Master Thread  (Read 1002384 times)

Offline dans fan

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Re: Amex Financial Review
« Reply #615 on: October 10, 2011, 10:06:27 AM »
Been with AmEx since 2003 and always got approved with crazy credit limits 25k+ for each new card - never carry too high a balance and always pay on time... Just went to Israel for 3 days and came back to a F/R...

I have no clue what I wrote on my app for income but I usually dont exaggerate too much... Am I better off preemptively canceling some of my cards (2 biz 3 personal) or trying to first go through with the f/r? Will I have a chance to cancel myself if I don't pass the f/r or will they cancel automatically if I don't pass?

Thanks for your help!!
this depends on who your rep is there are many witches and a couple of nice ones when you talk to them try to see if you get any vibes. if you can show income about 30k i wouldnt be worried. if i would cancell a card i would mention it to my rep so that they dont think i am playing games with 30k you should be fine but i dont know if it will carry 5 accounts try to olso send in bank statements if you have a couple of thousand in acc other than that keep in mind all rep are dif. i believe that when they fry you they have a agenda and it some cases it might just be a play to make it look like they shut you down for a valid reason and therefore each person gets treated differently so there is no real rule hakol lifi hamivayish vehamisbayish. in short it depends on you and your case worker no two are the same 
Don't cancel the cards. Go through with the FR and give them what they want, you stand a 99% chance of passing. At worst, they would lower you CL, but based on what you're saying, they probably wouldn't even do that.
what did he say that brougt you to that conclusion

Offline dans fan

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Re: Amex Financial Review
« Reply #616 on: October 10, 2011, 10:08:11 AM »
Been with AmEx since 2003 and always got approved with crazy credit limits 25k+ for each new card - never carry too high a balance and always pay on time... Just went to Israel for 3 days and came back to a F/R...

I have no clue what I wrote on my app for income but I usually dont exaggerate too much... Am I better off preemptively canceling some of my cards (2 biz 3 personal) or trying to first go through with the f/r? Will I have a chance to cancel myself if I don't pass the f/r or will they cancel automatically if I don't pass?

Thanks for your help!!
who is assigned to your case

Offline Avid Reader

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Re: Amex Financial Review
« Reply #617 on: October 10, 2011, 10:13:13 AM »
@dans fan, did you read this whole thread?

Offline sr

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Re: Amex Financial Review
« Reply #618 on: October 10, 2011, 10:15:15 AM »
who is assigned to your case

D. Mumford

Offline dans fan

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Re: Amex Financial Review
« Reply #619 on: October 10, 2011, 10:17:30 AM »
@dans fan, did you read this whole thread?
yes i did why do you ask i just asked what did he say that he never said any thing about how much his income is its not exaggerated but it might not be suffice ( if he wrote 30 and its 20) olso 99% is way way to high 
D. Mumford
dont rec. it
« Last Edit: October 10, 2011, 10:27:09 AM by dans fan »

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Re: Amex Financial Review
« Reply #620 on: October 16, 2011, 01:11:46 AM »
I didn't follow this whole thread. But I'm wondering if someone is on a negative with MR, and his accounts get closed after FR, will he still have to pay the 2.5 per point, since he didn't pay back?
Side income is the most solid income... בדוק ומנוסה

Offline elikay

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Re: Amex Financial Review
« Reply #621 on: October 16, 2011, 01:18:15 AM »
If his income is 20 and he wrote 30 I'd consider that exagerating (its a 50% increase!)

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Re: Amex Financial Review
« Reply #622 on: October 16, 2011, 04:53:25 AM »
The point here is that if you have around 20k (not really a magic number..) of provable documented income, and the 'rest' is not on paper, AMEX will usually except that if you can explain away the rest. They might wanna see your bank statements etc. At max they'll cut  your credit lines low. But they most likely won't shut the accounts. [No guarantees obviously, just talking from peoples experiences posted here]

Offline Nitantnel

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Re: Amex Financial Review
« Reply #623 on: October 16, 2011, 08:23:47 AM »
The point here is that if you have around 20k (not really a magic number..) of provable documented income, and the 'rest' is not on paper, AMEX will usually except that if you can explain away the rest. They might wanna see your bank statements etc. At max they'll cut  your credit lines low. But they most likely won't shut the accounts. [No guarantees obviously, just talking from peoples experiences posted here]

Accept

Offline Avid Reader

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Re: Amex Financial Review
« Reply #624 on: October 16, 2011, 11:54:04 AM »

Offline lybbtthl

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Re: Amex Financial Review
« Reply #625 on: October 19, 2011, 03:15:50 AM »
I know this is probably addressed somewhere in this forum but going through 38 pages is too much.

I have a personal amex with a $2k limit since july this year and a $3k business card for just over a month now. My whole credit history is very limited (only since Nov 2009) and I just got a call today that I'm being FR'ed. Being that I have no income to show and I'm a bochur in Yeshiva, I don't think I'll pass a FR so I plan on cancelling my cards before they do (unless there is a better option?!), the question is how long do I have? I didn't even speak properly with anyone yet, I told them I'm too busy now I'll have to call back. Also do you need to pay everything up before you try and cancel? or if you cancel while owing, they'll just send you some sort of bill? What if there are just pending charges?

another question, I plan on applying for some other credit cards, should I apply before I cancel the amex's so my CR shows up more accounts? or should i do it after I already cancel and they'll see I had an account but now I cancelled it; what has a better chance of me getting approved?


Offline PlatinumGuy

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Re: Amex Financial Review
« Reply #626 on: October 19, 2011, 04:37:40 AM »
first pay off the bills so your utilization goes down, then apply for new cards before you cancel the amex
Purpose > Pleasure

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Re: Amex Financial Review
« Reply #627 on: October 19, 2011, 07:28:14 AM »
first pay off the bills so your utilization goes down, then apply for new cards before you cancel the amex
+1
If you still carry a balance after the cards are closed, it will show up as 100% utilization, which is not good.
« Last Edit: October 19, 2011, 07:32:44 AM by Avid Reader »

Offline lybbtthl

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Re: Amex Financial Review
« Reply #628 on: October 19, 2011, 12:30:36 PM »
first pay off the bills so your utilization goes down, then apply for new cards before you cancel the amex

how long will the lower utilization take to show up on my credit report? don't cc companies report to the credit bureaus like once a month?!
or can a credit card application get real time access directly to my current accounts even from other banks?

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Re: Amex Financial Review
« Reply #629 on: October 19, 2011, 03:21:54 PM »
I just got off the phone with the FR dept. and the rep told me to send in 3 months of bank statements (since I told her I'm a student and didn't file taxes she said statements would have to do) from the account I use to pay the bill with. I asked her what happens next she told me either nothing or the limits may be reduced I asked her if there is a chance I will be shut down, she said no. Is she telling the truth? What if my statements don't support my alleged income of $50,000? Is it better I preemptively shut down my accounts? I want to keep my accounts even if they reduce the limit, but on the other hand I don't want them shutting me down. What do I do?