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Love and Debt: Why you need to talk about money

How to Stop Living Paycheck to Paycheck

Where to go for mortgage and debt help

What You Should Know About Debt Settlement

Create a plan to deal with medical debt

Options for Higher Education

Will Changes in Credit Reporting Affect You?

What to do if your medical bills are turned over to collections

What to do if your spouse can't pay his or her bills

What to do when a family member ruins your credit

Homeownership is possible

What you need to know about the IRS and collection agencies

Will being turned down for a store credit card hurt my credit?

Beware of credit repair

Debt Management versus Debt Settlement

How to get ahead of late fees

Is There a Service That Helps You Not Pay Bills

Is a Debt Owed

Patience is the key to furnishing a new home

How to split expenses with your partner

Will my boyfriend's bad credit affect me?

What to do if your account is turned over to collections

Personal Credit and Starting a Business

Finding Money to Reduce Your Debt and Improve Your Credit

Simple Keys to Personal Finance

Be vigilant to avoid telephone and internet scams

Debt Settlement

Understanding credit utilization

The pros and cons of skipping a payment

Keep an open line of communication with parents about their finances.

Make a Choice to Get Ahead Financially

What to do when a relative asks you for money

Should You Buy a Home Now or Wait?

The difference between debt settlement and debt management

The negative impact of paying a payment 30 days late

Stressed by Finances

How to navigate two significant financial decisions: starting a family and buying a home

How to advise someone close to you who is coming into a significant amount of money

Make a Conscious Decision on How to Spend Your Money

How do you know if you have a good credit score?

Americans spend more money eating out than on groceries

Having Good Credit Saves You Money

Developing good money habits with your first job

How to save for a home

How to Know if you are Ready for Home Ownership

When is the right time to buy a home?

You can improve your credit to buy a home

Plan a Memorable Vacation Without Incurring Debt

The Hidden Costs of Payday Loans

Be Wary of Credit Repair Services

Use Caution when playing the credit card game

What does it mean to say bankruptcy gives you a clean slate?

How your credit is affected by various debt options

Be wary of predatory small business loans

What to do if you fall behind on mortgage payments

Financing a College Education

Money, Credit and Relationships

Should you be concerned with your date's credit scores?

Best options for a small, short-term loan

How to help a relative who is always borrowing money from you

Skipping a Payment over the Holidays

What to do if you are overwhelmed by medical bills

Make your financial intention a financial goal you can achieve

What to do when a collector calls you

The difference between paying bills and managing your money

My wife and I have gone through some tough financial times, which eventually led us to file for bankruptcy.  Following this experience, I don’t ever want to use credit again, but my wife

What do I need to know to pay ahead on my mortgage?

What to do if you get an unsolicited credit card in the mail

What to do when moving in to share expenses doesn't work out

Will being turned down for a store credit card hurt my credit?

Q. I recently visited a store where the clerk offered me a new credit card for a discount on my purchase. She asked for my Social Security number, which I reluctantly gave her, but then she asked for my income, which I felt uncomfortable divulging and therefore refused to provide. She said I could just say $10,000, which I did. After all of this, I was rejected for the card anyway. Will this hurt my credit?

A. When you apply for credit with any type of creditor, an inquiry will appear on your credit report. Known as a “hard inquiry,” this type of inquiry shows that you have actually applied for credit, though it will not indicate whether you have been approved or not. Conversely, soft inquiries show when you or a potential employer pull a copy of your own credit report. Soft inquires will also appear on your credit report when a potential lender checks your credit to offer you a pre-approved loan, but will not influence your credit score in any way.

Whether you apply for a card in the store, fill out an online application, or are visiting with a store’s representative over the phone, applying for a store card is no different than taking out a loan.  As for how your recent credit application will influence your credit, this depends on how much credit you have applied for over the last 12 to 24 months.

According to Fair Isaac and Company, the most commonly used credit-scoring company and creator of the FICO score, the impact of inquiries will depend on each person’s individual credit history.  For some, an inquiry can take off as few as five points. On the other hand, for individuals with a short credit history, the impact may be greater, and even more so for those with six or more inquiries on their credit report over the last two years. So the answer to your question will depend on what is currently on your credit report. 

Perhaps even more importantly, you need to understand that providing false information on a credit application is illegal. If you don’t want to give out personal financial information, or do not to wish to provide accurate figures, do not apply for any type of credit. A store clerk is not a credit expert.  If you are ever in a situation where you feel uncomfortable about giving the requested information, stop the application.  And never listen to someone who advises you to provide false numbers in order to qualify for a loan.

Bonnie Spain is the executive director of the American Center for Credit Education and Consumer Credit Counseling Service of the Black Hills. For more information, email

The material in this transmission is provided for personal, non-commercial, educational, and informational purposes only. ACCE makes no representations or warranties with respect to the accuracy or completeness of the contents of this transmission and assumes no responsibility for errors, inaccuracies, omissions, or any inconsistency herein. You should consult a professional where appropriate.