According to BusinessWeek, the type of purchases one makes with a credit card can determine one’s credit score.
The FTC suit against Atlanta-based CompuCredit for allegedly “deceptive” marketing practices offers a rare look inside the opaque business of credit scoring. It reveals a mechanism that consumer advocates and politicians have long suspected exists—one in which purchasing behavior, not just payment history, matters.
The allegations, in part, focus on CompuCredit’s Aspire Visa, a subprime credit card for risky borrowers. The FTC claims that CompuCredit didn’t properly disclose that it monitored spending and cut credit lines if consumers used their cards at certain places. Among them: tire and retreading shops, massage parlors, bars, billiard halls, and marriage counseling offices. “The company touted that cardholders could use their credit cards anywhere,” says J. Reilly Dolan, assistant director for financial practices at the FTC. “What they didn’t say was that you could be punished for specific kinds of purchases.”