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
- Top 10 credit bureau myths – Just how the bureaus work and who they work for are often misunderstood ...
- 5 ways an ex can ruin your credit during breakup, divorce – Heartbreak is compounded by financial hurt if there's revenge spending or a vacation with a lover on a shared credit card ...
- You may need good credit to get old – Many seniors stop worrying about their credit scores once they've paid off their homes and cars. That's a mistake: Assisted living facilities and nursing homes often check credit ...