Sunday, November 15, 2020

Closing credit cards can be good for your credit score

You’ve already heard everything that there is to know about improving your credit scores. Conventional wisdom says to pay all of your bills on time; don’t have too many cards; have a good mix of credit types; and never, ever close any credit cards. That last isn’t always true though. Closing your credit cards can sometimes raise your credit score.


Yes, closing a credit card can adversely affect your credit score, but if done wisely, the impact might actually be a positive one.

When the credit agencies calculate your credit score, there are a number of different factors that are considered.  Some of the major ones are:

  • Length of your credit history
  • The number of open credit lines
  • Debt to available credit limit
  • Your payment history
  • Average age of your credit cards

The bullet point that we will pay attention to here is the final one: the average age of your credit card. The credit agencies basically look at all of your open credit cards to calculate the average age.

Consider for a minute the following examples.

  1. Our test subject, let’s call her Sandy, has a student credit card that she has had for 10 years. The card terms are horrible but it’s her oldest credit card so she’s afraid to close it. Chase Bank offered a sweet new credit card with a nice 0% introductory rate that she would like to take advantage of. She applies and gets a new credit card. If she has no other cards, what is the average age of her credit cards? --- The answer is 5 years.

  2. Once the 0% rate offer expires, Sandy convinces Chase to offer her a rate of 1.99% for another year.  After the year is over, the interest rate jumps to 22.99%. Knowing that she can get better offers from a competing bank, she drops the new card in the trash like last week’s leftovers.  If she closes the card opened in just one year ago and keeps the one opened when she was a student 11 years ago, what is the average age of her credit cards if she has no other cards? --- The answer is 11.

By closing the new credit card, I, uh, I mean she, has increased the average age of her credit cards.

Here’s one rule to adhere to when closing credit cards: if you can, never close your oldest credit card. It doesn’t matter if it’s an old student card that you haven’t dusted off since Super Mario Brothers was the hottest video game in the stores.

On a side note, a trend that I’ve noticed is banks closing credit cards that cardholders are not using or drastically reducing the available credit limit.  They do this because they are not making money from you, and you are tying up available credit. They would rather transfer that credit card to someone else up to their eyeballs in debt who likes to hear the sweet sound of the cash register every time they swipe their credit cards. Hang on to that grandparent of a credit card with a death grip because it will help to increase the average age of your credit cards.  You don’t have to keep a balance on it, but make a purchase using that card once-in-a-while to keep the bank happy.

One last thing. Don’t forget that the number of credit cards that you apply for also impacts your credit score. This is called a “hard inquiry”. Those inquiries will stay on your credit report for two years, but the updated FICO scoring model, used by most lenders, counts them the most during the first year.  Also, if new credit applications are clustered together within a short-time period, the impact to your credit score will be minimized. If you will be dropping your newest card to get a better deal on another card please consider applying for a new card once the last inquiry has fallen off of your credit report.

As you see, you don’t always have to be held hostage by a credit card.  Getting rid of a credit card really can positively impact your score if done wisely.

This article originally appeared on Earnin, a community-supported, earned wage access app that allows people to get paid for the hours they’ve already worked, without waiting weeks for their paycheck.

Saturday, November 14, 2020

The difference between TikTok and DouYin

DouYin (斗音) is a short-video sharing social media introduced by ByteDance in China in 2016. In mid-2017, ByteDance launched DouYin's international counterparts called TikTok.

Although both DouYin and TikTok are sharing the same app icon that looks like below, they are in fact completely separate app, with respective user base and content.

Initially, both of them looks similar in functionality. Just that, DouYin operates and serves in Mainland China, and TikTok operates and serves the rest of the world outside Mainland China.

You can find TikTok app in Apple App Store, Google Play Store, Amazon App StoreHuawei App Gallery, etc. but you can find DouYin app in those mobile apps marketplace.

To download and install DouYin, you can visit to DouYin official website and click on the respective download button there for iOS or Android.

DouYin is opened to users from all around the world, which you can register an account and verify your identity using a mobile number in your own country.

Over the times, DouYin and TikTok have been developing separately, and now also have quite a lot of differences in looks-and-feels as well as functionality.

The main difference between TikTok and DouYin is still their separated user base, which results in totally different content uploaded by the separated community.

The user interface and content in DouYin is in Chinese. You can find thousands of official account of Chinese celebrities there. Chinese singers are also using it as one of their channels to release and promote their songs.

There are several leaderboards in DouYin's search function, as shown below.

On the other hand, the user interface in TikTok is English, and the content can be multilingual. There is no leaderboards in TikTok's search function yet. In fact, you can find a list of trending hashtags there.

There is no issue for you to install both TikTok and DouYin in your phone, and register as user in both of the app separately. You just need to treat them as different apps sitting together in your phone.

Friday, November 13, 2020

Online free personality test to get accurate description of who you are and why you do things the way you do

Since the dawn of time, humans have drawn up schematics to describe and categorize our personalities. 

From the 4 temperaments of the ancient civilizations (sanguine, choleric, melancholic & phlegmatic) to the latest advances in psychology, we have been driven to fit the variables and complexities of human personality into well-defined models.

The 16Personalities website developed by a small group of enthusiastic researchers in Cambridge UK, NERIS Analytics Ltd, provides a free online personality testing tool for all of us to understand ourselves better just by answering a few questions and get a pretty detail result about our personality type, role (i.e. our goals, interests, and preferred activities) and strategy (i.e. our preferred ways of doing things and achieving goals).

The analytical model used is based on the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), which in turn based on Carl Gustav Jung's theory of psychological types. It also incorporated frameworks from other renowned researchers, including Socionics, Keirsey Temperament Sorter, Linda Berens’ Interaction Styles, etc.

You can click here to visit the 16Personalities website and press on the Take the Test button there, to start your personality test and get your instant result report.

You will find yourself in one of the 4 roles of analysts, diplomats, sentinels, or explorers.

Each of the 4 roles is grouped by 4 personalities respectively. And each of the 16 personalities can be further analyzed into 2 different strategies. Therefore, there are altogether 32 strategies available in this model.

If you are curious about the statistical information of the personality of the people around the world which has taken this test, which can be further zoomed in to regional and country level, here is the link to show the big data result.

Hint: Click on the "Older Posts" link to continue reading, or click here for a listing of all my past 3 months articles.