With every interest rate uptick, lenders and card companies get stricter about approvals. If your credit score falls below 600, you’re likelier to be rejected when you apply for financing — unless you try the so-called shopping cart trick. Here’s how to do it — and where.
It involves applying for store-branded cards that tend to give approvals before checking your credit reports first.
When you apply for a credit card and your credit report is checked, it’s referred to as a hard inquiry or hard pull, meaning you initiated it.
This has more of an impact on your credit score than a soft inquiry or soft pull, which is when a credit card issuer pre-approves you for a card ahead of marketing the card to you.
Where It Works
As of this writing, the shopping cart trick only works when you shop online at retailers that work with Comenity bank — the following 20 of them, to be exact:
- Abercrombie & Fitch
- Ann Taylor
- Bath & Body Works
- Bed Bath and Beyond
- Big Lots
- Coldwater Creek
- Eddie Bauer
- The Loft
- New York & Company
- PC Richard & Son
- Toys “R” Us
- Victoria’s Secret
How To Do It
Here are a few things to keep in mind as you do the shopping cart trick on any of the aforementioned sites.
- You may need to turn off your popup blocker. Otherwise, you might not see the credit offer.
- Shop the site and add some items to your cart. Then, begin the checkout process.
- Enter your address in the proper fields, making sure it matches the address on your credit report exactly.
- Next, continue through the checkout process and wait for the offer to display.
- Typically, the offer will show up before the final payment phase. If it doesn’t, you may either need to make sure you chose to opt-in for promotional emails, that your popup blocker is off, and then repeat the process.
- If it still doesn’t work, then the shopping cart trick may no longer be valid on that site.
- If you see an offer, choose to accept it and complete the application.
- Make sure to read the fine print thoroughly to make sure a hard pull isn’t part of the process.
- Usually, if it only requests the last four digits of your Social Security number, then it won’t perform a hard pull, but it’s best to verify that.
- However, asking for your full Social Security number doesn’t guarantee a hard pull is coming, hence why reading the fine print is important.
- You don’t have to finish your purchase to be given credit, so you can choose to abandon your cart once your application is complete.
The Shopping Cart Trick and Your Credit Score
It’s important to realize that any new form of credit impacts your report and score, so take that into consideration before opening new accounts.
Ultimately, using the shopping cart trick can help you get credit with greater ease. Just make sure to use it responsibly, or you may damage your score further.
Readers, have you ever tried the shopping cart trick — and if so, how did it go down?