Credit Score

TikToker who claims she can’t get a mortgage warns about opening credit cards in stores

From Old Navy to Home Depot, many department stores in the United States offer customers the option of opening a credit card affiliated with the store. For frequent buyers, these credit cards can sometimes offer benefits that can prove to be beneficial to the customer.

But, for one customer, the decision to open a Home Depot credit card turned out to be a mistake when she forgot to make payment for a small purchase at the home improvement store.

Cassidy Rainforest Gard, who calls herself @Cassidygard on TikTok, has warned her viewers not to say yes to these offers.

“I always say no, but that day the lady at Home Depot was so nice, and she had the sticker on and it seemed really special and important to her that I opened a card, so I opened a card.” , Gard said. in a video that has now been viewed 3 million times.

She said after opening the card in May, she forgot it, resulting in an unpaid bill for the small purchase.

“And then I forgot, I completely forgot that I opened a card,” she said in the video. “And I buy a house and it turns out my credit, because I forgot I opened a card in May, has dropped over 100 points on my mortgage.”

According to Experian, a credit registration company, there are many reasons why a person’s credit score could drop, including a recent late or missed payment, applying for new credit, or changing your credit limit. or your use.

Different scoring models can be used to measure an individual’s credit score ranging from 300 to 850. In 2020, the average FICO score in the United States was 710, according to data from Experian.

“For a $ 9 paint pot, I probably won’t get a mortgage on a house,” she said.

Gard said News week in an email, she doesn’t think she was fully aware initially that she was applying for a new line of credit, as it was presented more as a “reward card.”

“All I knew was I was getting a discount on my current purchase for the paint bucket,” she said.

“It wasn’t the cashier’s fault, but I think the employees at Home Depot are trained to represent the facts in a way that makes the action of what you do much less serious than they are.” , she said. News week. “I think credit cards shouldn’t be able to be opened in less than 60 seconds in a store queue. It was as relaxed and effortless as buying chewing gum at the checkout. “

Gard was able to speak to a representative from Citibank, the bank behind the Home Depot credit card, and was first told that she would be awarded a “goodwill adjustment” for the one-time late payment on the. paint bucket.

A TikToker said she wanted it to be clearer at checkout that the Home Depot credit card was beyond a reward card. Now, after forgetting a small payment for a paint bucket, she worries that she won’t be able to get a mortgage on a house.
Tim Boyle / Getty Images

The next day, she said, she contacted Home Depot’s financial services department to make sure everything was in order. He was then told that despite being told otherwise, after reviewing his account, they would no longer be able to make the adjustment.

“I felt a great relief knowing that they were going to make a goodwill adjustment and felt that I had learned my lesson and can put it all behind me,” Gard said. “When she admitted that they said they would but they weren’t doing it anymore, it was an even bigger blow than when I found out my credit had plummeted for forgetting to pay the upfront fees. of $ 5.35. “

Home Depot declined to comment on the question for this story.

Gard said she was told she would hear back from Citibank with an explanation on September 30, but as of October 4, she had yet to receive a response.

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