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.
Credit card issuers increasingly use complicated formulas to analyze their cardholders' purchasing patterns for signs of increased risk. Should you swipe your credit 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:
See related: What you buy, where you shop may affect your credit, Card issuers watch what you shop for, Am I a lab rat in the credit card industry's psychology experiment?, Chart: Compare some of the best rewards cards, 10 things you must know about credit scores, How to protect your credit during a marriage breakup
Updated: June 15, 2010
- Employers running credit checks on job applicants must tread carefully – The screening tool is increasingly seen as unfair by state legislatures, though they may make sense in some cases ...
- How to remove a personal statement from your credit report – Even if you felt the need to dispute an unpaid bill or explain what led to a foreclosure in the past, there are a number of reasons why you might have a change of heart ...
- VantageScore turns 10: What it is, why it matters – VantageScore, launched as a more consumer-friendly alternative to the dominant FICO credit score, has slowly gained acceptance ...