A SearsCard can provide customers with several benefits; however, some Sears credit card offers can compromise your ability to get future loans. If you're interested in special financing offers and monthly discount coupons, these types of credit cards may be exactly what you're looking for. On the other hand, if you value your financial reputation, you should know the following before you apply.

In-store fraud?

Many consumers are surprised to learn that there are three different Sears credit card offers: general store cards, a store-sponsored MasterCard and a major-purchase credit account. Usually, when you apply for one of these lines of credit, the store employee receives a monetary reward, regardless of whether you are accepted or declined.

According to several former employees, when shoppers apply for a SearsCard, the in-store sales associates often attempt to enroll them in all three plans in an attempt meet sales goals and increase their employee rewards. Most often, the consumer has no idea this is happening, and according to numerous sources, store managers generally turn a blind eye to the practice, because they like the results, which help them exceed sales goals and claim larger annual bonuses.

How this hurts you

Applying for multiple Sears credit card offers can cause serious damage to your credit rating. Each time a consumer applies for any type of line of credit, their score takes a hit. Lenders tend to view multiple requests as signs of financial distress, because they assume the applicant is in desperate need of cash.

Ultimately, if you are interested in applying for a SearsCard, it may be in your best interest to do so through an online source. Although the service representatives at every Sears store may not employ dishonest tactics, there's really no way to know who is and who isn't.

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