Home > Uncategorized > The Email Mistake That Can Hurt Your Credit

Comments 0 Comments

Every time I look at my inbox, I almost always have about half a dozen new emails from retailers that want me to buy their stuff. And these retailers often use amazingly compelling subject lines so that I feel like I have to click and see what unbeatable deal I’m missing.

Now, as we head into the holiday shopping season, this craziness is likely to get bumped up a few notches. The problem is that if I’m charging up my credit card on needless merchandise every time I open up my inbox, I’m headed for financial ruin … and quickly! Impulse buying can cause you to overcharge your credit cards and potentially damage your credit score in the form of missed payments or high balances on your credit report. (You can see how your credit card balances are affecting your credit scores for free on Credit.com.)

If you’re prone to shopping through emails, there are some steps you can take to stop the madness. Here’s what I’ve done and what you can do, too, to save your credit from being ruined by your inbox.

1. Instead of ‘Buy Now,’ Click ‘Unsubscribe’

The best way to stop buying through every email is to make it your personal policy to click on the “Unsubscribe” link rather than the link that takes you to view the super-secret, special sale. Changing this behavior is not easy, especially if you love to buy things at a discount, but it may be in your best interest to miss out on the deal of the century, Your financial and credit health are generally more important. You can keep your financial goals and plans in mind in order to increase your odds of saying “no” to impulse buying.

2. Let Your Budget Be Your Guide

Having a written budget and financial plan for yourself and your family will help you avoid that impulse to browse and buy. Having a budget doesn’t mean you avoid spending money completely; it means that you decide ahead of time when and how much to spend (as opposed to buying when an emails tell you to). To avoid going beyond your budget, you can designate someone as your accountability partner. Whether it’s your spouse, partner, friend or family member, you can call on this person to encourage you to stay on track.

3. Get an Email Address Just for Promos

A friend of mine gave me this suggestion that’s helped her. She got an alternate, free email address to only give out when signing up for a promotion or to a retailer that she knows will only be sending her marketing emails. She checks the email now and then, but, otherwise, she’s able to avoid having her main inbox flooded with temptations to buy, buy, buy.

It can also be helpful to remember that any sales you are notified of are likely not exclusive. Also, when you are looking to buy something specific (that’s in your budget), you can search for the item with “coupon” after its name and see what kind of deals are online. Your good credit score and your wallet may thank you.

More on Credit Reports & Credit Scores:

Image: LDProd

Comments on articles and responses to those comments are not provided or commissioned by a bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by a bank advertiser. It is not a bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

Please note that our comments are moderated, so it may take a little time before you see them on the page. Thanks for your patience.

Credit.com receives compensation for the financial products and services advertised on this site if our users apply for and sign up for any of them.

Hello, Reader!

Thanks for checking out Credit.com. We hope you find the site and the journalism we produce useful. We wanted to take some time to tell you a bit about ourselves.

Our People

The Credit.com editorial team is staffed by a team of editors and reporters, each with many years of financial reporting experience. We’ve worked for places like the New York Times, American Banker, Frontline, TheStreet.com, Business Insider, ABC News, NBC News, CNBC and many others. We also employ a few freelancers and more than 50 contributors (these are typically subject matter experts from the worlds of finance, academia, politics, business and elsewhere).

Our Reporting

We take great pains to ensure that the articles, video and graphics you see on Credit.com are thoroughly reported and fact-checked. Each story is read by two separate editors, and we adhere to the highest editorial standards. We’re not perfect, however, and if you see something that you think is wrong, please email us at editorial team [at] credit [dot] com,

The Credit.com editorial team is committed to providing our readers and viewers with sound, well-reported and understandable information designed to inform and empower. We won’t tell you what to do. We will, however, do our best to explain the consequences of various actions, thereby arming you with the information you need to make decisions that are in your best interests. We also write about things relating to money and finance we think are interesting and want to share.

In addition to appearing on Credit.com, our articles are syndicated to dozens of other news sites. We have more than 100 partners, including MSN, ABC News, CBS News, Yahoo, Marketwatch, Scripps, Money Magazine and many others. This network operates similarly to the Associated Press or Reuters, except we focus almost exclusively on issues relating to personal finance. These are not advertorial or paid placements, rather we provide these articles to our partners in most cases for free. These relationships create more awareness of Credit.com in general and they result in more traffic to us as well.

Our Business Model

Credit.com’s journalism is largely supported by an e-commerce business model. Rather than rely on revenue from display ad impressions, Credit.com maintains a financial marketplace separate from its editorial pages. When someone navigates to those pages, and applies for a credit card, for example, Credit.com will get paid what is essentially a finder’s fee if that person ends up getting the card. That doesn’t mean, however, that our editorial decisions are informed by the products available in our marketplace. The editorial team chooses what to write about and how to write about it independently of the decisions and priorities of the business side of the company. In fact, we maintain a strict and important firewall between the editorial and business departments. Our mission as journalists is to serve the reader, not the advertiser. In that sense, we are no different from any other news organization that is supported by ad revenue.

Visitors to Credit.com are also able to register for a free Credit.com account, which gives them access to a tool called The Credit Report Card. This tool provides users with two free credit scores and a breakdown of the information in their Experian credit report, updated twice monthly. Again, this tool is entirely free, and we mention that frequently in our articles, because we think that it’s a good thing for users to have access to data like this. Separate from its educational value, there is also a business angle to the Credit Report Card. Registered users can be matched with products and services for which they are most likely to qualify. In other words, if you register and you find that your credit is less than stellar, Credit.com won’t recommend a high-end platinum credit card that requires an excellent credit score You’d likely get rejected, and that’s no good for you or Credit.com. You’d be no closer to getting a product you need, there’d be a wasted inquiry on your credit report, and Credit.com wouldn’t get paid. These are essentially what are commonly referred to as "targeted ads" in the world of the Internet. Despite all of this, however, even if you never apply for any product, the Credit Report Card will remain free, and none of this will impact how the editorial team reports on credit and credit scores.

Your Stories

Lastly, much of what we do is informed by our own experiences as well as the experiences of our readers. We want to tell your stories if you’re interested in sharing them. Please email us at story ideas [at] credit [dot] com with ideas or visit us on Facebook or Twitter.

Thanks for stopping by.

- The Credit.com Editorial Team