Bargain shopping..... Can it hurt your credit?Tuesday Jun 30, 2009
I don't think this will come as a surprise to anyone out there when I say it.....Financially speaking, times are tough! It is nearly impossible to find a job right now, and if you do have one, hold on to it tight because it could be pulled right out from underneath you. Needless to say, money is tight for everyone. So on your last trip to the grocery store, with our economic crisis fresh on your mind, you decided to go to the neighborhood Aldi instead of your usual trip to Jewel or Dominick's. Just trying to save some money! Nothing wrong with that, right?
Wrong. In these tough times, what you buy can end up affecting your credit score. As credit card companies begin to be less lenient on potential users in this economic drought, they are resorting to whatever means they can to determine if a potential user is a credit risk or not. Yep, you guessed it, that even means they are looking at your personal purchasing data. For all you deal hunters and penny savers, you are screwed.
Credit card companies are now looking to credit charges from second hand stores, non-brand name items, casinos and much more. These sorts of credit charges would lead the credit card companies to believe that an individual was in financial distress, thus, linking them with potential missed payments or defaults. I know what most of the women out there are thinking, "Good, now I have an excuse to shop. If I don't, then my credit will be bad." And I can speak for the men when I say, "This sucks."
This whole scenario brings up a number of different questions such as privacy issues and discrimination against low-income card users. However, those are issues that will be saved for a future boring blog for you to enjoy. My advice for everyone is to use cash. And if you must use a credit card.....No more bargain shopping!
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