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Rate tarts must be careful not to risk their credit rating

So-called 'rate tarts' who constantly switch and take out new credit cards to make the most of introductory offers could be damaging their credit rating, according to credit referencing agency, Experian.James Jones, consumer affairs manager for Experian, warned that each time someone applies for a new credit card, their credit report is checked by the potential lender, and each check is then recorded on the credit report. According to Mr Jones: "A large number of these searches in a short space of time can ring alarm bells and can therefore affect your credit score. "It can make it look like you're desperate for credit, or that someone might be using your details in identity fraud." However, simply switching between cards occasionally should not make too much of a footprint on credit ratings, and can be a sound financial decision, depending on the offers available.To be on the safe side, Mr Jones advised consumers to properly close off any credit card they no longer plan to use, saying this would not only look better on a credit report, but would also cut their chances of being victims of credit card fraud or identity theft.

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