Opportunities to Lower Your Credit Score and Increase Your Debt

Check out lane

Retail marketing is incredibly effective at getting us to act in ways that harm rather than help us. Marketers appeal to our emotions and impulses. Often it is difficult to resist and that is why marketing is a very lucrative strategy for retailers. Here are some of the areas where we should avoid acting impulsively:

  1. You know the scenario…you are standing in the grocery store check-out line with your full cart waiting for the person ahead of you to finish checking out. At eye level you find screaming tabloid headlines, battery packs, sugar-laden treats, paperback books with racy titles, and the list goes on. These items have low prices, but they are not bargains. Resist the urge to reach out and add them to your groceries.
  2. At your favorite department store you have just handed the clerk the outfit you want to purchase that offers you the opportunity to save 15% if you sign up for a credit card right now. If you take this offer from multiple stores over a few months, your credit score could suffer. Each time the store checks your credit, it appears as an inquiry and multiple inquiries can result in a lower score.
  3. The clerk hands you the receipt for your purchase and you notice that you’ll get 15% off your next purchase as long as you purchase $50 of good within the next two weeks. Do you really need to return to the store to buy more? Think twice.
  4. Your favorite uncle gives you a $50 gift card and you go online to purchase that new sweater on sale for $39.99. Your gift card now has $10.01 available and you don’t find anything you want for that amount. Most people either forget the balance on the card, essentially throwing that money away, or purchase something in addition that increases their spending above what they had planned to spend. Gift cards are great as long as you don’t get lured into purchases you don’t need.

Before giving in to an impulse buy, step back and ask yourself, “Do I really need this or am I just reacting to the marketing hype?” You’ll thank yourself for resisting.

Anne Lee
Director of Operations

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