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Low Interest Card Offers Could Damage Your Credit Report

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Tammy Joyce says pre-approved
RALEIGH — 'Tis the season to get dozens of credit cardoffers in the mail, offering lower rates and all sorts of unbelievabledeals. If it "bah, humbugs" you, you can put a stop to those offers justby making three phone calls.

Credit card offers fill mailboxes throughout the year, but it getsworse just before the holidays. The appeals often offer thousands ofdollars in pre-approved credit, but that's not really the case. What manydon't realize is that just filling out the applications could hurt yourcredit rating.

More people are using credit cards today than ever before. Hundreds ofthousands of new cards are issued everyday, and all the credit cardcompanies want you to choose their card.

That's why they send out credit card applications by the truckloads. Many say they're pre-approved, but they're really not. Filling out theapplications could actually hurt your credit rating.

More people are using credit cards than ever before. Hundreds ofthousands of new cards are issued every day. Credit card companies wantyou to choose them. That's why they send out credit card applications bythe truck loads. They say they're pre-approved, but they're not really.

"Don't expect to go out and spend a lot of money on the credit cards youhave now in anticipation of receiving this new credit card with a lowerinterest rate," explains credit counselor Tammy Joyce. "Just becauseyou've received a preapproved notice in the mail doesn't necessarily meanyou've got a card on the way."

And if you fill out every application, you could be doing some damage to your credit record.

Faith Kelley says her walk to the mailbox everyday is a time to wonderjust how many credit card applications are inside today.

"We're just not interested," Kelley says. "We have a credit card that hasno annual fee anyway. We just don't need more."

Many credit card applications promise huge credit limits and say they'repreapproved. But, don't start spending yet. The small print on the backof the application reads quote "If, upon evaluation of your completedapplication and information provided by others to us, we find you do notmeet the criteria, credit will not be extended".

The worst part is, the more times creditors look at your credit report, the worse your credit report looks.

Joyce says the more preapproved notices you receive, the more times creditors are looking at your credit report. That's something you don'trealize affects your credit report, but it does.

More and more people are treating new applications for credit cards likeFaith Kelley does.

"I trash it, as fast as I can!"

Each of the three major credit bureaus has a toll-free number youcan call to have such offers stopped.

  • Equifax can be reached at1-800-556-4711.
  • Experian can be reached at1-800-353-0809, and
  • Trans Union can be reached at1-800-680-7293.
  • One call to each of the bureaus will exclude your name from lists sold tocredit card marketers. Your phone request will block your file from beingscreened for two years.

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