Black Friday and Cyber Monday may save you cash, but your credit scores could pay the price. The challenge is to get in on the multitude of “deals and steals” while keeping your spending on track – and your credit scores intact. If plan to use credit in lieu of cash, use these credit tips to help protect your credit scores from dropping!
Credit tips to help your scores survive the shopping frenzy:
- Know the credit limits and balances before you “ADD TO CART”! Carrying a credit card balance of more than 30 percent of your credit limit lowers your scores and raises a red flag with lenders.
- Don’t apply for retail credit cards just to save money at the register. The offers may be tempting – but opening multiple retail card accounts will generate multiple credit inquires that will ding your credit scores and may cost you more money later.
- Pass on deferred-interest financing. If you fail to repay the entire debt within the deferral period, interest charges can be retroactively applied to the full purchase amount, regardless of how much you’ve paid off.
- Only charge up you afford to pay down on time. Make no mistake, even just one 30-day late payment will remain on your credit reports for seven years – and could lower your credit scores, cost you loan approval or take thousands out of your pocket in higher interest rates.
- Know what’s on your credit reports. And monitor for suspicious activity or errors in this prime time for identity theft.