Mystery shoppers love the chance to earn big bucks, but often the higher paying assignments require more personal involvement and a larger time commitment from you. One of the more frequently encountered assignments that pay more than your average assignment are those that require you to open a credit account or other such account. These assignments may be for a credit card company, a major retailer, a bank, or other such company. In order to fulfill these assignments, you will be required to actually open a new account. This means that your credit report will be pulled, and your credit scenario going forward may be affected as well. So should you open a new account simply to complete a mystery shopping assignment?
Pulling Credit. In order to open a new credit card or similar type of account, your credit report will need to be pulled. First, you will need to know that you have decent enough credit to be approved for the new account. If there is a concern, you should discuss it with the provider before you accept the assignment. When a new credit report is pulled, it does have the ability to affect your credit scores. If you haven’t had your credit report pulled in recent months and your score is good, you should not worry about this. However, if you already have a lower than average score, you may want to think twice about this. Simply pulling your credit report, especially if it has been pulled several other times in recent weeks and months, can lower your credit scores.
New Accounts. When you open a new line of credit, it effectively raises the amount of available credit that you have available regardless of if you use that credit or not. Having extra credit available has the possibility of lowering your credit score because it raises your risk of defaulting. Consider a person who has $20,000 in available credit versus the person who has $2,000 in available credit. Both have the ability to fully max out their cards and use all available credit. So the person with the higher amount of available credit is more of a risk.
Even if you plan to close the account right away, this can also ding your credit scores. Too much account activity of any kind can lower your credit scores. If you don’t plan to use credit for a major purchase in coming months, your scores should have time to improve before you need access to your credit. However, if you plan to buy a new car, a new house, or apply for a loan of any kind in the coming months, you may want to think twice about doing this type of assignment.
Is It Worth It? Some of these assignments offer significant compensation for your time and effort, with many paying over $100. However, for the time and effort to not just open the account, but to follow up and close it as well as to deal with the credit repercussions, every mystery shopper should ask themselves if this assignment is worth it? Again, this will go back not just to pay, but also to if your credit situation is already in a precarious state as well as if you will need access to new credit in the next few months.
There is much more to think about before you accept this type of assignment. Most of these assignments pay well, so it is worth the time to at least give these assignments a moment’s thought to reflect on how worthwhile they will be for your unique situation.