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  1. Yes, they pull Transunion.
  2. Heh. That was a year and I have no idea. I'll guess and say it was mid-to-high 600's on Transunion. Somewhere in that range. I had quite a few inquiries at the time. The rate I got 1.9%.
  3. As far as I know every issuer in the country charges a fee. Most are 2.5%. Desjardins Visa charges 1.8%, which is the lowest in the country.
  4. Yeah, RBC always has some sort of balance transfer offer. I see them in my message center "Offers" section all the time (I only have an RBC Visa...no bank accounts or anything else). This is a good offer from RBC though, compared to what they usually give. Normally their BT offers only last 3-6 months. This one is good for a year, which is strange for RBC.
  5. I just bought a new SUV because my old one is falling apart. I've put about $1k into it this year alone and just found out it needed another $1300 in repairs. Welp, enough is enough. The old girl doesn't owe me a dime and it's time to put her out to pasture. So I walked into the showroom, got myself a salesmen, and took about 8 different vehicles on test drives. And I needed financing. Oh God. The face-to-face application. I started sweating. As is usual of me, I got all worked up for nothing. It was stupidly easy. I got the cheap money from GM (I'm a GM man...it runs in the family). It's thru Ally Credit Canada, which is what GMAC is now called. I was nervous as hell talking to the F&I lady, but she was good at putting me at ease. I actually worked with her years ago when I worked in the auto industry. We're not friends, just acquaintances. (To be honest: I barely remember her working in the same dealership I did, but she definitely remembers me.) She laughed when she asked me to rhyme off my credit cards for the financing application. I just kept going...and going...and going...and going. I didn't get instant approval because it's difficult for me to prove income. They needed to verify. Less than an hour later I get a message on my cell phone that I was approved. Longest hour of my life! Now I wish I would have bought the better model! ahahahahaha. I did have a good chat with her about Ally and what they expect. She seemed on the level and I have no reason to think she was bullshitting me. I'm just passing along what she told me, so take it with a grain of salt. First of all: Ally pulls Transunion. She said if Ally sees anything less than a 620 credit score it means you won't qualify for any cheap money deals they have going. They will send your file over to some other 'deadbeat' department where the rates can fall anywhere between 5% and 25% depending on how much of a deadbeat you really are. Not very many people are flat out denied credit. It's just a matter of what kind of interest rate you're prepared to pay. Other than the 620 cut-off, Ally isn't very concerned about your actual score. Having recent late payments isn't necessarily a deal killer, but if you have more than a couple then they'll take a long second look at your application. Your chances of approval dropped a bit if that is the case. Any lates over a couple years old are glossed over (i.e. ignored), as long as it wasn't a constant stream of late payments that stretched for months and years at a time. The same goes for charge-offs and/or collections. If they're small amounts and over a couple years old then Ally is fairly forgiving. As long as there isn't a ton of them and you're not talking BIG BIG dollars then you should be fine. She said they just want to know whether you can pay them back. If you have a steady job and don't live beyond your means then you should be all right. They don't like to see a DTI ratio more than 32%, and they don't consider your mortgage/rent payment when they calculate it. They will accept a DTI up to the high 40's but it takes a very clean report and a decent income to do that. Anyways, it was a fun experience (in hindsight). This is the first time I've ever bought a new vehicle. And the first time I've ever financed a vehicle too. edit. I pick it up next week.
  6. Ally Credit Canada pulls Transunion. (Ally is the new GMAC, for those who don't know.)
  7. Well, I guess it's something Liam. Sorry about the National Bank rejection. I really am. I can't help but feel a little responsible for the wasted hard inq. What you said about TD doesn't surprise me. They wouldn't approve me either when I was trying to get back on my feet. If I remember correctly, the lady at my branch said they'll overlook a few late payments as long as they aren't too recent. But anything worse than that and they'll reject it. I had that stupid $40 Iqor collection thing on my report, plus a Citifinancial collection for like $4400 (and I've never done any business with Citifinancial. Never. It wasn't mine. Neither was, to be perfectly honest.) TD also wanted 110% security too. All TD would tell me was get those two things off my report and I can have the secured Visa. They didn't care about my excuses. She pretty much held her palm up and said "talk to the hand". So I just let it go. It wasn't worth it. (The Citifinancial collection was pretty old and was going to drop off in less than 6 months anyways. So I never did anything to clean up my report. The Iqor thing came back to haunt me though when I got my mortgage thru TD a couple years later. Long story...) Did you try Walmart? It's actually a pretty good card. Not long ago they were giving out $25 in rewards for new applicants. You had to use the card twice, once in store and once outside the store to get the $25 credit. The card itself pays 1.5% for instore purchases and 1% for everywhere else. And you can redeem the rewards right at the register with the minimum being only $5.
  8. That Gulf card really brings back memories of driving to Florida with my parents and my older brother. Even though my Dad owned a GM dealership with Texaco gas pumps he had a Gulf charge card and I remember him using at every Holiday Inn along the way to Florida. (I don't remember seeing the HI logo on the back though. Seems to me it was just full of writing. But this is Canada so it was probably different. The front looks very familiar though.) Every year in the 1970's (usually right after New Years) we spent 2 or 3 days on the road heading south, then spend about 10 days in Ft. Lauderdale or St. Petersburg, and then spend 2 or 3 days heading north. You've heard Bill Cosby talk about how his Dad could smack him and his brother (Russell) in the back seat without even looking? And regardless of how far away you were he could still smack you? Well, that comedy routine was based on MY Dad. Bill Cosby nailed our Florida vacations to a T. My Dad was the master of blind swatting and still nail you with a bullseye swat to the side of the head. Anyways, even at ~7 years of age I thought credit/charge cards were cool and always found myself trying to see them whenever my Dad had to whip out that magic wallet of his that never seemed to be empty of interesting things. He had all kinds of gas station and in-store only charge/credit cards in his wallet and I remember when he got his Mastercharge and how he bragged that could use it ANYWHERE! Then he took a trip to Europe with his brother and when he came back he was pissed because hardly anybody accepted it over there. So over the years he ditched the Mastercharge/Mastercard and spent most of his adult life, and then his retirement travelling the world with a single no-frills Visa and a green Amex charge card. That's it! He died in 2006 and I would love to see his credit report.
  9. I always figured they were tight with their credit, but I honestly don't know where I got that idea. Like I said, I was very surprised when my GF was approved so easily...and with a very nice credit limit too. I'd really like to know how you make out, so please post back and let us know. It would be nice to find out if they're poor credit and/or BK-friendly as it would be really helpful for others in the future. National Bank just isn't a bank that most people think about. Good luck! edit. For the record, Nat. Bank pulled Transunion on my GF's app.
  10. Not sure about the USA, but here in Canada the different levels of colour typically mean better benefits. Visa/MC force the level on benefits before allowing one of the issuers to issue a card of that colour. It has nothing to do with the credit limit. For example, Gold level cards are supposed to have a minimum amount of travel insurance of $100k or something, I think. Whereas a Platinum level card is supposed to have a minimum of $500k. Gold and above also are required to carry rental car insurance, as another example. Also, initially, Platinum level cards were to have extended warranty coverage for all purchases, but that special benefit gradually oozed its way down to be typically included into the Gold level cards as well. Whether a card has an annual fee or not is completely irrelevant. All the levels have pushed the line drawn by MC/Visa over the years, so it's more and more difficult to differentiate between the levels. But the differences are there. They might not be so obvious any more, but they're there. The relatively new Infinite Visa (called the Signature Visa in the USA I believe) and they're generally Black in colour. They were intended to only go to big spenders, immaculate credit history, and with high household income. When used at a retailer the merchant fee is a little higher too. The reason given to the retailers for the increased fee was that people who have that card are big spenders and they're bringing them into your place of business...therefore it's worth more to you. Trouble is, the minimum requirements for approval aren't being enforced. I believe it's $75k household income, but the big banks routinely approve anybody with reasonably decent credit regardless of income. All it takes is a good relationship with a bank and bingo - you're approved. I know my GF, who is going to school right now and has no other income except for what her ex-husband pays for child support, is being courted for the TD First Class Infinite Visa simply because she has a long relationship with TD and has some loot stashed in their vaults. It's to the banks benefit to put their Infinite Visa in her hands. She's not a big spender but the bank get a bigger cut of the fee for each purchase. So it's not a surprising they want more people to have those cards in users hands. As a rule, here in Canada at least, the colour levels do have meaning. The line is blurry nowadays, and it has nothing to do with the credit limit issued. For example, I have a Gold level MC with a $15.5k limit and a Platinum Level MC with a $2k limit. (The examples I gave above are just that...examples. They may or may not be entirely accurate.)
  11. I can't say with certainty that BMO will approve, but they approved me once when I had a couple of old write-offs/collections on my account. They were 5 years old at the time, give or take, so maybe that makes a difference. But I didn't have a bankruptcy on my report though, so it's hard to say. I'm wondering if you tried National Bank. My GF's report is kind of UGH. Not bad, but not pretty either. And they gave her a fairly hefty credit limit without question. Once again, no bankruptcy on her report though so again it's hard to say. I'm wondering if you tried for a Canadian Tire, HBC, or a Sears Mastercard. Or even the Best Buy Visa. One of them, if I was a gambling man, would probably be your best bet. If I were you I'd try a couple of them right on top of each other. If you're approved for them, great. If you're declined for 1 or both of them, then BMO or National would be a waste of time and a hard inquiry. edit. oops. I see you listed HBC as a no-no. edit2. I just remembered something. My ex-wifes niece was in a financial mess at this time last year. I'm not 100% certain if the declared bankruptcy, but I'm almost sure. She couldn't even get a cell phone. She was borrowing money left and right and had people chasing her everywhere she went. She'd start a new job and within a month people were calling her at work. In early December she was approved for a Walmart Mastercard. She didn't do it in-store as she was too embarassed to do it face-to-face, so she printed out the app from the Walmart website and mailed it in. She had to jump thru some hoops but she was eventually approved (big mistake on Walmarts part, in my opinion). I'm not sure how much of a credit limit they gave her, but she told my daughter they gave her $2500. Like Canadian Tire, they have 2 or 3 levels of interest rates to allow them to be more lenient. If you have crappy credit they'll approve you...but at 28% or something. I honestly can't see them giving her a standard 19.9% rate.
  12. My GFs credit isn't too bad. Her ex-husband kind of buggered things up on her but it's pretty much aged off, and what hasn't we got cleaned up and she's good to go now. But her open accounts are too young. That's where the problem lies. When her and her ex-husband went their separate ways, she had a few CCs and when she went to renew her mortgage at BMO they asked her to consolidate her CCs. I think BMOs reasoning was "single mom, recently divorced, no full-time employment, ummm we better be careful" approach was understandable. Either she's too embarassed to admit to me she got in trouble and needed a bailout, or she was just too dumb to read the paperwork, I don't know for sure. But BMO ended up paying off her credit cards and cancelling all of them without her honestly having any idea that happened. And they cancelled ALL of them, right down to her 20+ year old Sears card that she got when she was 18. All of this happened when we were dating but not actually living together. Yeah, she's a little naive when it comes to finances. As she found all that out (sometimes the hard way...like, being declined) she finally woke up and spoke to her BMO rep who explained what they did. They got her another BMO MC, but at a fraction of the limit she once had. They didn't reactivate her old account either. This one shows up as a new account, and she lost about 15 years of age. Then she got a Capital One MC (no idea on the limit...I've never seen her use it. She says she used it once when she first got, and hasn't used it since) and TD gave her a toy limit Rebate Rewards Visa. She got an HBC in-store card, then converted it to the HBC Mastercard about a year ago and then she got a Sears MC shortly after that, both with non-toy but not-very-big credit limits. I see her use the HBC MC more than anything. She likes the HBC points or whatever they're called. She got some mail from MBNA on Friday, but she tore it up without a second glance. The National Bank MC she applied, and presumable was approved for, is the Edition MC. And I have to admit the black design of the card is pretty nice. And yeah, they do have the vertical cards (I checked out National Bank myself!) but I believe they're only for students cards. Otherwise I know I'd be apping for that one! ahahahaha But I don't know why she's targetted for all the offers she gets. Maybe over the last couple years they seen a decent score but hardly any open accounts. I admit these offers have slowed down in the last year or so. When I bought this house and we moved in together, within 6 months she was getting weekly offers from any CC imaginable.
  13. Hey Quasei! National Bank pulled Transunion for my GFs Mastercard app. She did it online. (Don't ask why she app'd for what looks like a crappy Edition MC. It only works out to 0.5% cashback. Oh well. She gets all kinds of credit offers in the mail. Normally she doesn't even look at them, but she looked at this one and went to the website and liked that she could pick the design. She picked the black one (it does look really nice, I admit) and applied. The next day they called and verified her info. They wouldn't say yes/no when asked if it was approved, but the fella did say "if you get this call then it's a good sign" or something to that effect. All he would say is she can expect a letter in the next few days. Why does she get all these offers in the mail? I don't get any. And if I do, it's always from Amex! She gets an offer from CIBC once or twice a year, but most of her offers come from the non-big banks like MBNA, Citi, and now National Bank. I have never ever seen an unsolicited offer from National bank in my entire life - but she gets one! I swear she even got one from Laurentian Bank back in the summer. Why is she so special? I want offers too! ahahahahaha)
  14. Well, I did the online "increase credit limit" option again tonight. I put in to update it to $5k, and surprisingly Amex came back with a "we can't give you $5k, but we can give you $2.3k." GRRRRRRRR. I accepted it. They have got to be the most frustrating and annoying company ever. But I know what it is that they finally gave in to my constant requests for a CLI. It's because I had 2 hard inquiries drop off of TU in the last month. I'm still going to down-grade it to the Gold Airmiles Amex though. I can't justify paying $50/yr for a limit that low.

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