Any Georgia consumer who shops for anything is bound to encounter store credit card offers. If you make a purchase at a brick-and-mortar store, the cashier may present you with an opportunity to save 20% or more on the entire sale. All you have to do is sign up for a store-branded credit card. Sounds pretty good, huh? Actually, a lot of Georgia shoppers find these promotional offers too good to pass up. This is why, even though many retailers are struggling, store-branded cards are more popular than ever. The problem is that only a certain type of Georgia consumer is typically able to save money with these credit cards. For many others, store credit cards can lead to damaged credit scores and financial troubles. So are the rewards attached to these cards worth the potential risks?
Why Georgia Consumers should be Extremely Cautious about Accepting Store Credit Card Offers
Before accepting a store credit card offer, Georgia shoppers should ask themselves a very important question. Do they plan to pay off the balance when the bill arrives? Most store credit cards come with higher interest rates than non-branded cards. Normally, these rates are around 24-25% or more. This means that unless you pay the balance in full when the bill comes, the initial discount diminishes. In fact, if your purchase is big enough, you’ll end up losing money by making payments over time.
Speaking of interest, a lot of Georgians fall for “deferred interest” promotions. With these offers, shoppers can charge items for a certain amount of time without paying interest. The catch is that the interest is only waived if the entire credit card balance is paid off within the timeframe allotted. At the end of the promotional period, if there is even one dollar remaining on the balance, the consumer must pay interest charges on all purchases made. This gets expensive quickly, especially if the consumer used the credit card in question for all of their holiday shopping.
Georgia consumers tempted by store credit card offers must also consider their credit scores. Even for shoppers with good credit scores, store credit cards normally come with fairly small spending limits. Therefore, if you make a large initial purchase with the card, you could easily use up more than half of your limit right away. This can wreak havoc with your credit utilization rate if you already have credit card balances and cause a drop in your credit score.
Reasons why Georgia Shoppers might accept a Store Credit Card Offer
Sometimes, and for certain Georgia shoppers, store credit cards make sense. Again, you must be willing and able to pay off your balances every month. If you are, here are some situations where saying “yes” to a store credit card offer is an okay response.
- You are new to credit, don’t currently have a credit card, and want to start building a good credit score.
- Your balances are low on the credit cards you have, and adding to your available credit with a store credit card will improve your credit score.
- You regularly shop at the store offering the card, so you might as well get rewards.
For Georgia consumers who want to improve their credit scores, signing up for a store credit card may or may not be a good option. However, checking credit reports for errors and removing them is good for everyone. Even if you don’t find any inaccuracies, you’ll at least know that credit reporting mistakes aren’t bringing down your credit score.
Although, if it has been a while since you’ve checked your credit reports, there’s a good chance that you’ll find a credit score damaging error or two. Disputing and removing these items gives your credit score an immediate boost.
Georgia consumers who suspect that there are inaccuracies on their credit reports should request a Free Credit Report Review from Credit Repair Lawyers of America. If any errors are found, an experienced credit repair attorney will handle the entire dispute process for you – also for FREE. In fact, our clients never pay anything out of pocket for the services we provide.
The Free and Legal way to Get Better Credit
Don’t let errors on your credit reports bring your credit score down. At Credit Repair Lawyers of America, we’ve been cleaning up credit reports for consumers since 2008 for free. How do we do it? All of our fees come from the defendants in settled cases. This is why our clients pay nothing for the work we do.
Let’s start the conversation about what we can do for your credit. Set up your free consultation today by calling Attorney Gary Nitzkin at (404)591-6680 or sending him a message through our contact page.