Each inquiry can drop your credit score by a few points or more! There are a few creditors that do what is called a soft inquiry and offer a credit card if your credit profile meets their minimum standards. A soft inquiry does not affect your credit score and is only seen by you, the consumer.
Although this can be a welcomed way of gaining credit while rebuilding, one should be very careful not to accept any and every offer as too many retail accounts can be perceived as a negative indicator by other credit issuers. Additionally, many consumers who run across this “Shopping Cart Trick” accept every offer they receive they wind up with too many overall new accounts which also dings one’s “Average Age of Accounts”. Generally speaking, these accounts come with low limits which can also hurt your credit score (ie a $80 balance on a $200 credit line is 40% in utilization). Credit seeker, beware! Only seek and accept offers that you can truly use! A relatively safe option is to accept no more than 3 of the store cards. For credit purposes accepting the cards with the co-branding is thought to be better than a non co-branded card.
Instructions for receiving pop-up pre-approvals:
- Be sure you are “Opted In”
- Turn off any Pop-Up Blockers.
- Chose the store(s) from which you would like to acquire credit. Use the link at the bottom of the article to view a list of confirmed stores that have pre approval credit offers.
- Register for an account with the store’s website.
- Shop for item(s) of interest and add them to your shopping cart.
- Click to Check Out.
- Enter your correct billing and shipping information.
- Continue to payment page.
- Wait a moment for a pop up.
- If you receive the pop-up or embedded message, Congratulations! You got an inquiry free pre-approval. To accept the offer simply click to accept and follow the instructions given. You can use your new credit line to purchase the item(s) in your cart!