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:
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