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November 05, 2008

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Wow, since I was using this company for a Zero Percent and had 2 recent credit reports, your post made me check this out.

I was shocked to see how right the questioner was. I don't know how I missed it. Where as Chase notes my High Credit amount they do show a $0 in the Equifax report and a n/a in the Experian report. Fascinating.

Makes me wonder how this can be legal, when my documents on the account specifically state CREDIT LIMIT with an amount. As do all my monthly statements. I too question whether this is legal.

What I can offer up to anyone that cares, I do not believe that it is affecting my credit score. Since I maxed this card out to utilize a ZERO Percent deal, I should have seen my score plummet. Instead I am in the highest group on both reports. Had the $0 & N/A been effecting I should have seen a decline in score, but my score went up slightly and still firmly in the highest bracket.

I can help. My advice: The reader should obsessing about his/her credit score and enjoy life. Fair Isaac, Experian, TransUnion and the rest of the credit industry have you addicted. Cure yourself.

I also have this card and another Visa Signature card that does not report credit limits. Different scoring models handle this in different ways.

Some scoring models recognize that a revolving account with a credit limit of $0 or "N/A" is a charge card and simply ignore that account for utilization purposes. If you use the card regularly, this can be a slight advantage in scoring.

Other models merely use the "high balance" field as if that were the credit limit and calculate utilization in that fashion. This usually (but not always) will result in a much higher utilization rate on that card than if they just reported the credit limit, but it usually won't show as "maxed out." If you plan to seek a mortgage or auto loan in the next few months and want to maximize your FICO score, you can ask Chase if they will waive the fee for a balance transfer and perhaps do a BT for close to your limit and then pay it in full when you get the next month's bill; this will cause the reported "high balance" figure to get close to your actual credit limit. Thereafter, your utilization will be low relative to the high balance, raising your score. Note that this strategy could take three months to work its way through the system, and it might cause a temporary decrease in your score in the meantime.

Signature and charge cards (like ones from AmEx) typically are like this and don't report limits since technically there isn't any. In your case, if you keep the card, there's not much you can do besides downgrading the card if the situation bothers you that much. I've had people told me they've done the same thing before.

My best guess is that they "upgraded" this card to a Signature card, which has "no preset spending limit." This means that they no longer report a limit to the credit bureaus. Details here:

http://www.creditaddict.com/archives/chase-freedom-rewards-credit-card-upgraded/

I had this issue a few months ago and just filed a dispute at the recomendation of the Chase Rep I spoke to. It took about a week to work it's way onto each report, but all three now show the correct limit. And I didn't have to downgrade from the signature card.
Mr. ToughMoneyLove - While I agree with you that there are better things to do in life than worry about your credit score, to keep an eye on it and fix errors as you notice them is much easier than ignoring it and having to fix all the problems when you really need your score to be correct. I check my credit reports once a year and it takes 15 - 20 minutes to check everything. This was the first year I noticed something wrong, and it took maybe an additional 15 minutes to talk to the Chase rep and file the disputes to all 3 agencies.

On a different note, my cousin told me something intresting. He has an Amex card that has cash back rewards when used for groceries. He was able to get cash back(max $50 for a swipe) on the card while paying for the groceries. The transaction appears as money spent on groceries and he will get a cash back for that $50. He can keep on doing this till the available limit and keeps on paying his bill every month in full, he gets free cash back rewards. Am I missing something here?

AMEX is another one that's like this. Because you have no credit limit, they call it "0". I have an American Express card that I pay off every month, but sure enough, a few times when I applied for other loans, the balance is usually counted as a negative. For example, if you have a credit card with no balance and a $1000 limit, and an AMEX card with $1000 on it, but no limit, to the underwriters, you're using 100% of your available credit.

I checked my credit report and AMEX (the only card I use) shows a balance with credit liit of $0.00. The utilization is calculated as sum of all revolving balances vs sum of all credit limits. To add insult to injury; since I have not used my other cards for a while; one of them is dormant and they have reported credit limit of 0. I called and still have 15k credit limit; but rep advised that I must start uising it so they can report credit limit. I monitor my FICO score monthly and 0.00 credit limit has a nagative impact on my score. The more I charge with AMEX in a month, the lower my score.

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