Long post. Cliffs at the end.
Earlier this month, I got an alert that a collections account had been added to my equifax report (free credit monitoring thanks to LSU). I pulled up transunion and experian reports and the collections account was there as well.
A day later, I get a message from Citi that they'd reduced my credit card limit a fairly significant amount based on a recent review of my Experian report. I'll paste the letter below so you can read the wording.
The collections account is the result of an error made by a medical supply company. Just a bad outsourced billing department, claiming I owe on something that I'd already paid for. I'd sent them proof of payment multiple times, and although each rep on the phone confirmed they had the proof, it was eventually sent to collections anyway. I sent the collections agency the same proof. They stopped contacting me, but then reported this "debt" to the credit bureaus.
I took the advice from people here and elsewhere on disputing it, and long story short, the collections account is gone from all three credit reports.
Here's CitiBank's first letter:
We periodically review the overall credit performance on your account. Unfortunately, after careful consideration, we have decreased the credit limit on your Citi® Platinum Select® MasterCard® account to $10,820, of which $0 can be used for cash advances.
Specifically, your credit report indicates a delinquent credit obligation, either paid or unpaid, with another creditor.
Our decision to decrease your credit limit was based, in whole or in part, on information obtained from the following consumer reporting agency:
P.O. Box 2002
Allen, TX 75013-0036
1-888 EXPERIAN (1-888-397-3742)
Please note, other than providing information, the reporting agency played no part in our decision and is unable to supply the specific reasons why we have decreased your credit limit.
We understand that a decrease in your credit limit impacts your access to credit and want you to know that you may request a credit limit increase in the future. If you do so, we will evaluate your request based on the following:
• Six consecutive months of on-time payments
• Account compliance with all terms of the Card Agreement
• A review of your consumer credit report
You can find tips and tools about maintaining healthy credit at usecreditwisely.com. You can also enroll in our AutoPay service. It’s free, and easily links to your checking or savings account for automatic monthly payments, so you can make payments on time and avoid late fees. To enroll in AutoPay, please visit www.autopay.citicards.com.
You have a right under the Fair Credit Reporting Act to know the information contained in your credit file at the consumer reporting agency. We encourage you to review your credit report for accuracy.
You also have a right to a free copy of your credit report from the consumer reporting agency if you request it no later than 60 days after you receive this notice. In addition, if you find that any of the information contained in your report is inaccurate or incomplete, you have a right to dispute the matter with the consumer reporting agency listed above.
If your credit report contained incorrect information, please send us a complete copy of your updated credit report within 60 days from the date of this communication to the following address and we will reevaluate our decision.
[The rest is just contact information and Federal Regulations]
I'm actually carrying a balance on this card due to some emergency expenses, so the limit reduction also made a significant impact on my credit card utilization percentage, affecting my credit score.
In citi's letter, they said I can send an updated credit report to them so they can reevaluate the decision. So I did. And this was their response:
Thank you for your interest in obtaining an increase in your credit line on your Citi® Platinum Select® MasterCard® account.
We are unable to approve an increase for you at this time because our records indicate that we do not have an income and/or monthly mortgage/rent payment amount on file for you.
Please call our Customer Service Center at 1-800-950-5114 with your monthly mortgage/rent payment amount and your annual salary, wages and other annual income. Alimony, child support, or separate maintenance income need not be revealed if you do not wish it to be considered as a basis for repaying this obligation.
If we do not receive the requested information within 30 days from the date of this letter, your request will be considered withdrawn.
To me, it seems like they barely read my letter and just cranked out a form letter. Are they justified/legally permitted to treat this as a credit line increase request? That's fine if they want this information from me, but I want to be sure they're within their rights to do this, or if I should follow-up with a firmer letter.
1. Collections account inaccurately reported to the three credit bureaus.
2. CitiBank subsequently lowered my credit limit as a result of the collections account (specifically, they checked Experian). Said I could dispute info on my credit report, and if successful, send an updated credit report and they'd reevaluate their decision.
3. I disputed the account with the Credit Bureaus, and account got removed from all three.
4. I sent the updated report to Citi.
5. They responded with a form letter related to a typical request for a line of credit increase request, asking for income verification.
6. I feel like my situation is outside of that, but I'm not sure. Should I do what they said or follow up with a slightly nastier letter?
This post was edited on 10/26 at 1:18 pm