So many places are automatically approving you these days for store credit cards. If you go to Hot Topic and buy some cool punk t-shirt and pay with a credit card, it’s pretty likely the cashier is going to say you’ve been pre-approved. The same thing could happen at other stores as well, but you are never obligated to say “yes” unless you really want to.
The thing is, do you really need a store specific credit card? Some people may say yes, while others may say no way. Here are some things to consider before you agree to that randomly offered a credit card.
How Many Cards Do You Have?
Start by considering how many credit cards you’re already in the possession of. If you have a good deal of cards already you do not need one more. Don’t think of it as one more not hurting you, because it really can mess with your credit score.
If you only have one card, or two, another one probably won’t hurt your score any. In fact, it might help your credit to have some extra money available to you. If you aren’t sure if it’s a good idea then it’s probably a better idea to just say no thank you to the cashier.
Can You Afford To Pay Them All?
Before you get more credit cards you need to determine if you can pay for them or not. You need to look at how much money you have coming in compared to how much you have going out. If you’re already making steep payments to other credit cards you definitely don’t need another one.
If you’re not sure about your job lasting, if you don’t have money in savings, and if you just don’t make a lot of money to begin with, then you can’t afford another credit card. However, if you can afford to pay the full amount off on all of your cards then you should get that card if you really want to.
Do You Even Shop There More Than Once Every Few Months?
If this was your first time shopping at the store that offered you a store credit card, maybe you don’t need a card for that place. How often will you use it? Do you even intend on going to that store again in the future? If not, what’s the point.
If it’s a store you shop at on a regular basis then it might be a wise investment to get that store card. And, if you accept an offer at the store then you aren’t messing up your credit score by applying online (and possibly getting rejected). A single credit card application that doesn’t get accepted can stay on your credit report for two years!