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Why Getting a Credit Card to Build Your Credit Is a HUGE Mistake

by Rose Marie Walano 3:00 AM, May 2, 2018

Aired May 2, 2018

If you believe you have to build your credit score, so you have to have a credit card (and pay it off responsibly), you're not alone!

But guess what? Financial guru Anthony ONeal (who went from being homeless and $25,000 in debt to advising other people on their finances) says that's simply not the case.

"Having a credit card is a huge mistake!" Anthony tells Rachael. "I fell for the free pizza [that a bank was offering while trying to entice students to get credit cards in college], but a lot of people open credit cards because they think they need to build credit."

MORE: Here's Why Taking Out Student Loans Are Actually One of the Worst Mistakes You Can Make

But he says that simply couldn't be farther from the truth! "A credit score is nothing more than an 'I love debt' score," he says.

And that’s because your credit score is based on 5 things:

1. Debt amount
2. Debt payment history
3. Debt type
4. Debt usage
5. Likelihood of getting more debt

So yes, if you have no debt, you’ll have no credit score. But, Anthony promises, "You’ll be fine and stay out of debt that way!" Which is pretty great, right?

And if it's just that you're the kind of person who doesn't like to carry cash, "Get a debit card," says Anthony. "It does everything a credit card does, but you can’t spend beyond what you have."

MORE: How to Get Out of Debt Fast -- No Matter How Much $$ You Owe