Suze Orman's All-Star Advice
Many department stores offer 20 percent off when you sign up for their credit card. Is it okay to actually take advantage of that discount, and then rip up your card and never use it again?
Suze: So, you go in and they offer you a 20 percent discount. That's great, but you are not disciplined. Here's what you are going to think: "It's only 20 percent for this date. Therefore, I need to buy this, this, this and this." Maybe you went in thinking you were going to spend $200, but before you know it, they give you this credit card and you walk out having spent $1,000 on stuff that you don't even need or want.
Then you are going to get that credit card bill. You'll see they only want maybe $50 of the $1,000 dollars that you spent and you'll say: "You know what, I'll just pay that." And now they've got you! They are charging you 23 percent interest even though they just gave you 20 percent off.
So, my advice to all of you is this: Don't do it. You think you are smarter than them? I don't think you are, which is why we have so much credit card debt here in the United States.
Be very careful also because your credit cards and the debt that you carry on your credit cards have a lot to do with your FICO score. Your FICO score has a lot to do with what is known as your Insurance Risk score, which your car insurance premiums are based on. So, if you go into a department store and charge up to the max on their store credit card, don't be surprised to see your car insurance premium increase. In other words, that 20 percent [discount] you were getting could end up costing you a whole lot of money someplace else.
Next: In debt to a department store? Get Suze's number one piece of advice to pay it off.
Published on January 03, 2011