Smart Credit Tips for Summer Sales

JUN 13, 2011

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Summer is sales season! Carmakers, mattress stores, furniture manufacturers, electronic stores – a long list of retailers center their sales efforts on summer holidays like Memorial Day, Independence Day and Labor Day. You can get a lot of great deals at summer sales, especially on big-ticket items.

A lot of people will use credit to fund those big-ticket purchases. If you’ll be among them, it makes sense to check your credit report online before you hit the sales. While you’re perusing online sales, pull your free credit score so you have an idea of what credit activity will affect your credit standing.

Start by carefully considering how much you really need the item you’re thinking of buying. Is it something that you require, or that will really enhance your life? And will you be able to afford paying it off in a short time frame?

Next, shop around for the best deal. (Of course the best bargain is something that’s free, like your credit score!) Avoid impulse buying. Thinking through a purchase can help ensure you’re spending money on something that’s really worth the investment, and give you time to comparison price the item through a variety of sources.

Now take a look at your online credit report again. Is it in good shape to help ensure you get the best credit terms possible, especially if you’re going to finance through a retailer’s payment program? Is it in need of some cleanup work before you make a purchase that will impact your credit history?

It’s easy to get carried away during the summer sales. But remember, how you use credit this summer will affect your credit standing long after the sales are over. If you use your credit wisely, those transactions could be far more beneficial than just getting a great buy. Responsibly paying off your purchases can actually help build your credit rating.