Interactive: Shop your way to a better credit score
Your score could go up or down depending on what you buy
By Anna Bleker
Shopping and credit cards
Don't allow a convenience to become a curse. If you frequently purchase with plastic, CreditCards.com offers useful tips to help you become a savvier shopper.
Think twice before buying that pawnshop desk lamp on credit.
Credit card issuers increasingly use complicated formulas to analyze their cardholders' purchasing patterns for signs of increased risk. Should you swipe your
blank_pagecredit card at merchants specializing in secondhand and generic items, marriage counseling or activities such as gambling, your credit card issuer tracks those purchases and might assume you're experiencing financial stress. If their formulas predict that you'll miss more payments, the card issuer may react by increasing your interest rate and reducing your credit limit. Those moves ultimately lower your credit score.
The opposite is true as well: Some purchases are seen as those exhibited by a less-risky person, and they can raise a score.
In the interactive below, drag the various items to the shopping cart to see how a real-life purchase of that item might affect your credit score:
We encourage an active and insightful conversation among our users. Please help us keep our community civil and respectful. For your safety, do not disclose confidential or personal information such as bank account numbers or social security numbers. Anything you post may be disclosed, published, transmitted or reused.
If you are commenting using a Facebook account, your profile information may be displayed with your comment depending on your privacy settings. By leaving the 'Post to Facebook' box selected, your comment will be published to your Facebook profile in addition to the space below.
The editorial content on CreditCards.com is not sponsored by any bank or credit card issuer. The journalists in the editorial department are separate from the company's business operations. The comments posted below are not provided, reviewed or approved by any company mentioned in our editorial content. Additionally, any companies mentioned in the content do not assume responsibility to ensure that all posts and/or questions are answered.
Three most recent Credit scores, credit reports stories:
5 steps to a mortgage-worthy credit profile – You've decided it's time to make your dream of owning a home a reality, but are you financially prepared? Here are five steps to getting your credit and finances in tiptop shape ...
Did you like this story? Then sign up for CreditCards.com’s weekly e-newsletter for the latest news, advice, articles and tips. It's FREE. Once a week you will receive the top credit card industry news in your inbox. Sign up now!