A woman has revealed how opening a store credit card at Home Depot ruined her credit and jeopardized her chances of buying a home after forgetting a $9 paint fee.
Television producer Cassidy Gard, 31, of Los Angeles, California, tearfully shared a public service announcement about the dangers of credit cards in stores in a viral TikTok video that has been viewed more than 5.1 million times.
Gard, whose handle is @cassidygard, explained that she usually says no when store associates ask her if she wants to open a credit card, but she made an impulsive decision to sign up in May because “the lady from Home Depot is so nice.” .’
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Candid: Cassidy Gard, 31, of Los Angeles, California, shared a tearful public service announcement about the dangers of retail credit cards in a viral TikTok video
Big mistake: The television producer explained that she impulsively agreed to apply for a Home Depot credit card in May because the employee was ‘so nice’
“It just seemed like it was very special and important to her that I opened a card,” she said. “So I opened the card and then I forgot. I just completely forgot I’d opened a card.’
Gard was in the process of buying a house when she realized four months later that her credit score had “dropped by more than 100 points.”
“I probably won’t get a mortgage on a house for a nine dollar can of paint,” she said, tearfully. “This is the dumbest thing I’ve ever done.
“Just don’t open credit cards in stores,” she added. “It will ruin your life.”
The candid video received nearly 17,000 comments, some of which were more sympathetic than others.
More than a few people pointed out that it was her fault for missing payment and wondered how she would handle the responsibility of owning a house.
Oh no: she admitted that she didn’t forget the card until four months later, when she was in the process of buying a house
Hard lesson: Gard said her credit score ‘popped by more than 100 points’, which will likely prevent her from getting a mortgage
‘Opening the card is not the problem. Not paying your bill is the problem,” one person wrote, while another added: “Looks like you’re forgetting it’s the problem and not the store.”
Others were more empathetic and encouraged her to contact Home Depot and agreed that everyone forgets sometimes. Some even shared their own retail credit card horror stories.
“A lot of people in these comments pretending nothing has ever crossed their mind.” pointed out a TikToker. “A $9 fee could potentially cost her a literal home.”
“I think it’s time we unite and force stores to stop harassing employees/consumers to apply for credit cards,” another said.
Gard responded to some comments, explaining that she was traveling over the summer and missed the bill. She stressed that she takes full responsibility for what happened and knows that it is her “fault”.
“Yes, I am the problem,” she wrote. “That’s why this is a PSA. So when other people like me have horrible memories, they realize how damaging this can be.”
Disaster: Before Gard was notified of her ruined credit store, she made a non-refundable down payment on a house. Now she may not even be eligible to buy the property
Owning it: In the comments of her post, she emphasized that she takes full responsibility for what happened and knows it’s her “fault”
Just say no: “Don’t open credit cards in stores,” Gard said. “It will ruin your life.”
In an interview with BuzzFeed News, Gard pointed out that the Home Depot employee was actually using a different language when she asked her to sign up. ‘reward card’ instead of a ‘credit card’.
“I don’t even think I was fully aware that I was applying for a new line of credit,” she admitted. “I only knew I was getting a discount on my current purchase for the can of paint.”
She recalled being “rushed and exhausted” when she started the card application process, which later led to her first charge becoming overdue.
Gard said she had unsuccessfully contacted Citibank, the company that handles Home Depot’s credit cards.
According to the producer, the company initially agreed to make a one-time goodwill adjustment to help her improve her credit score, but when she contacted Home Depot’s head of financial services, she learned that she wouldn’t make the adjustment in the end.
Before Gard was notified of her ruined credit store, she made a non-refundable down payment on a house. Now she may not even be eligible to buy the property.
“Even if I finally qualify for this mortgage, my mortgage rate will be 3 to 5 percent higher than it would have been based on my credit score before this mistake happened,” she said. ‘The mistake vs. the result was disproportionate.’