Is credit card window shopping ruining your credit score?

With over 50% of Australians using online shopping, it means that we are – now more than ever – at the mercy of these websites when it comes to the safety of our information.

In an age where technology is everywhere and site add-ons like Full story are running on around 30 000 sites worldwide, our personal information has never been more at risk. Aussie Credit Repair Expert, Laurence Barlow, warns that your personal information is being collected for pre-screen marketing and that this can be damaging your Credit Score.

“Pre-screen marketing is running rampant, and it’s because a lot of websites store the personal data you give them, and in the end it just causes your credit score to drop,” Mr Barlow warns.

“When sites run programs that monitor you, it means that your information can be stored on more than just one server and by more than one company,” he said.

“Pre-screen marketing helps with targeted marketing, but it comes at the cost of your personal details.”

“It’s an issue because when Credit Enquiries are left on your file, it lowers your Credit Score.”

“When you have a low credit score it seriously increases the risk of you getting knocked back for a loan or getting finance with low-interest rates.”

“We can only warn people to not shop around, reducing how many sites have your information, but for the people who have already become victims of pre-screen marketing, you don’t have to keep your Credit Score low.”

“But there are ways to stop pre-screen marketing and ways to help stop your credit score from plummeting.”

Mr Barlow said that there are a few easy ways to help keep you safe;

Check to See if the site you’re using is using Fullstory: This can be done easily on any laptop or desktop. Before you enter in your details, right click on the webpage and go down to “View Page Source”, or just press Ctrl U. You’ll be taken to a page that just looks like computer non-sense. Using “F3” or Ctrl F, type in “fullstory” and if it shows up, avoid entering in your details.

Read the terms and conditions: This process can be a long one, but searching for key phrases like “3rd part distribution” or “personal information” can help speed up the process.

Avoid Dodgy Websites: Websites with a bad reputation can be risky business. Googling the website in search of reviews or checking the site on websites like Scamadivser.com should help you check to see if it’s got a bad reputation if it does; don’t enter your details.

Check your Credit File: checking on your credit file to make sure you don’t have any unauthorised enquires is a good way to make sure your Credit Score isn’t low, and if you do find you have any misinformation on your Credit File it’s important to alert the appropriate credit reporting body so they can remove it.

Mr Barlow warns online shoppers to be careful, as having a low credit score can seriously hinder your future; stopping you from getting good finance.

Equifax (Australia’s largest consumer Credit Reporting body) released late last year, a collection of details that highlighted what affected your credit score, Equifax stating on their website that Adverse Listings and Credit Enquiries do damage your score.

One of the factors they admitted to affect your Credit Score is the number of enquiries on your Credit File. If your information is being used for pre-screen marketing, you could be racking up enquiries; barring you from a better financial future.

Anyone who wants to know more about how they could improve their credit score can do so by going to the CreditReboot site and talking to the staff on live chat at https://www.creditreboot.com.au/.