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I have a Fidelity Rewards credit card, which is managed by Elan Financial services. This is the only credit card that has not had its CLI increased by the provider. I filled out a request a couple of weeks ago on the FidelityRewards website, keeping a lookout for any indication that this would be a hard pull but there was none. The CLI was approved via snail mail a week later.

Today I checked my CreditKarma report and saw that a hard pull was initiated by Elan. At no point had I granted permission to perform a hard pull and neither was there any explicit statement saying a hard pull would be done.

What is my best recourse here? Should I call them, send them a secure message through the website or should I send a snail mail?

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    why are you concerned that there was a hard pull? – mhoran_psprep Nov 30 '16 at 14:40
  • because: (a) I didn't authorize it, (b) it can adversely affect my score. I'm looking to buy a house soon and I'm trying to keep the number of hard pulls to a minimum – Craig Nov 30 '16 at 15:27
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I think this really depends upon the value you placed on your relationship with Elan; and, the value you place on your time.

Calling the general line will likely yield no results as this is not within the purview of the typical center rep. Your best bet is attempt to get in touch with their legal department.

Assuming that you find a person in the legal department that is willing to work with you and knowledgeable you still have two possible outcomes that will not change things: First is that you misunderstood what you did agree to; or, they did mistakenly pull and it can't be undone.

In the case of the latter you might be able to receive some compensation for credit law violation(s), with an out of court settlement. If they say "sue us", then you will have to show actual harm that occurred to you and you did not indicate an actual drop in credit score. Even if it did drop it might recover prior to receiving the loan, or it may not even make a difference. Mortgages are typically awarded in bands and anything above 740 qualifies for the best rates.

Even if you could show harm, IMO its unlikely that your suit would be successful. One would reasonable expect a hard pull when requesting a CLI. You are requesting the ability to borrow more and as such should expect a hard pull.

Add to this that a suit will probably cause ELAN to drop you as a customer so you will have to apply for new credit. This is likely to have a higher negative impact on your score, but I still doubt it will materially effect your ability to borrow or interest rate.

Have you actually talked to a lender?

  • Thanks Pete. I haven't talked to a lender as yet. I do have other credit cards like Chase, where their CLI process requires explicit consent to perform a hard pull. My other cards (Amex/CapOne/Discover) have a generic form where you simply enter in your details, hit submit and you're given a decision instantly. With Elan I had a similar form, entered my details and on hitting submit, I got to a page that said I would be informed via snail mail about the decision – Craig Nov 30 '16 at 17:58
  • Why so many cards? That is probably hurting your credit more than a hard pull. Its best to limit to one personal and one business at most. – Pete B. Nov 30 '16 at 18:04
  • Different cards for different rewards/cashback. I travel a lot and use the CapOne for purchases abroad (no foreign txn fees), Discover or Amex for booking my travels (free travel insurance/loads of points), Chase being the Amazon Chase card, more cashback on Amazon purchases and so on. Fidelity offers a flat 2% cashback, with the cashback going into my investment account. I carry no balances and PIF each month – Craig Nov 30 '16 at 21:32
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    @PeteB. 3 is typically cited as the best number of cards if you want to maximize score not 1 – Eric Dec 1 '16 at 8:55
  • @Eric that is not my experience. Currently I have the highest credit score of my life, and only have the two cards cited. No other loans what so ever. No mortgage/car/business loans. – Pete B. Dec 1 '16 at 15:51

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