Wednesday, December 5, 2007

You Better Watch Out So You Don't Cry...
Before Getting In-Store Credit Cards

I know the temptation of a discount is great - and believe me, I succumbed to it before I knew better - but if you're serious about maintaining a high credit score, you gotta be careful about opening another department store credit card.

Here's a tip from TransUnion's TrueCredit newsletter:

"Though it can be tempting to save 10 to 15% on your holiday purchases, consider this: the interest rates can be high (especially if you make a late payment), and applying for a lot of cards can damage your credit score."

In essence, that discount that retail stores give when you apply for a new card might seem like a good deal now but if you don't pay off your entire balance every month, you will lose more in the long run because of the high interest rate. Also, applying for new cards can put dings in your credit score. If you do pay off your balance every month, then by all means, take the discounts. Still, be reminded that each application could have an effect on your credit score.

Here are more credit report-related info from the newsletter:

Do you know how long records stay on your credit report?

Here is a quick list of expiration dates:

Late Payments: Up to 7 years.

Collections: 7 years, starting 181 days from first date of delinquency preceding collection activity on the account.

Bankruptcies: 7-10 years after the filing date, depending on the bankruptcy type and policy of the credit reporting agency.

Judgments: 7 years from the filing date or until the statute of limitations expires, whichever is longer
[PHOTO: American Chronicle]

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