STOP! Before You Open That Store Charge Card To Save 15 Percent…


During the holiday season, retailers bombard shoppers with at-the-register offers to “open a charge card and save 15%”.

It’s an immediate money-saver, but for Americans in the market for a new home loan, taking advantage of the in-store savings could be a long-term loser.

This is because new credit card applications are damaging to credit scores.  According to, “new credit” accounts for 10 percent of a credit score; recent applications may signal weakness in a borrower’s profile.

Meanwhile, conforming mortgage lenders make rate adjustments for low credit scoring applicants.  As an example, a home buyer with a 20 downpayment and a 715 credit score would face an interest rate adjustment of 0.125%.

Below 700, the adjustments are even worse.

It’s okay to take advantage of the in-store savings during the holiday season, but just be aware of how it may impact your credit score going forward.  If you’re not applying for a new home loan in the next six months, chances are that you’ll be alright.

But, if you will need a new home loan, consider whether saving 15 percent on a $200 purchase is worth it if the long-term cost is paying an extra 0.125 percent on your new mortgage.

(Image courtesy: