I’m starting to get really sick and tired of the Ad Council. I know for decades they did nothing but good… but they keep spreading misinformation in their modern ads. It’s time to put my foot down.
Their latest “credit fairy” ads argue that you can best improve your credit by “only opening new (lines of credit) when you need them.”
This actually is totally incorrect in the modern world of credit. Congress has banned universal default, which means that your credit scores (such as FICO) will improve by opening new lines of credit. Your debt to credit ratio decreases, and thus, your credit score increases.
With credit card companies closing cards left and right, be proactive. Don’t listen to the Ad Council, and find a new credit card with no annual fee. Listen to a real consumer advocate, and take some initiatve to improve your score.
Note that opening new lines of credit does cause a short term (and minor) reduction in scores like FICO, however, the long term benefit of having more available credit typically offsets (and overshadows) that within mere weeks. For example, opening a new credit card will usually increase your FICO score more than the ding for a credit check.