By Corinne Roels
Something that I learned a lot about during while working in retail was how applying for credit cards and acquiring them can affect your credit score. As an employee of a large-size mall retailer, it was frequently a part of our required performance to “sell” credit cards to customers. This was often challenging, as customers don’t always want to open up a line of credit with a company, but other times, customers were apt to apply just for the chance that they might get 15 percent off of their transaction. There were a good handful of regular customers that would apply every single week for the credit card when they were shopping, even though they mentioned that they “knew they would not get approved.”
What I learned as a result of that, was that although this looked good for me as an employee that people were applying for the card, it was actually harming their credit score every time their credit was pulled for the transaction. My store would initially give customers the 15% off their transaction just for applying, but after a discussion with our partners at G.E. Capital, we changed our store practices to only offer the discount to those that were approved, to cut down on the number of customers that were applying just for the discount.
I am not much wearier of store cards when asked to apply in different retailers. Being cognizant of the potential repercussions of opening many lines of credit with different companies, I am much more careful and selective about my credit application processes for my own personal use.
Corinne Roels is a student at Arizona State University.