Cassidy Gard, a television producer from Los Angeles, California, had no idea that opening a store credit card would ultimately destroy her credit and jeopardize her efforts to buy a home.
Cassidy shared her story on TikTok, where it quickly gained over 4 million views and tens of thousands of comments. In the video, she tearfully explains that in May, she was checking out at Home Depot when an employee convinced her to open a store credit card. After opening the card, she immediately forgot about it, causing the charge she put on the card to pay for a can of paint to go into default, and drop her credit score over 100 points. "For a $9 can of paint, I am now probably not gonna get a mortgage on a house."
If you've made it this far and are confused by the terms "credit" and "credit score," don't worry, you're not alone. Basically, credit is an agreement to borrow money and make purchases but pay back the entire amount within a certain timeframe. A credit score basically tracks and "scores" you based on how well you're able to do that, and helps lenders assess your level of risk as a borrower. In the US, a strong credit score is crucial for opening a new credit card, buying a home, etc.