Ask Terry Questions Closing Out Credit Cards

Closing Out Credit Cards

By Terry Savage on August 03, 2015 | Credit/Debt

Hi Terry! What is worse when it comes to credit cards. …
1. Leaving them open with a 0 balance
or
2. Closing them with a 0 balance.
I have good credit and would like to close some cards I don’t use often but I do not want to close them if it’s going to hurt my credit.
Thank you for your assistance.

Terry Says:  Well, there are really two answers to that question.  First, you certainly don’t want to keep paying annual fees on cards you don’t use.  BUT, your credit score is partially dependent on the length of your credit history.  So you want to keep your oldest card(s) and at least charge something on it and repay in full and promptly to keep that credit history strong.

As for the others, particularly store credit cards, it is fine to write to the company and ask them to close the account — AND, report it to the credit  bureaus as “closed at the customer’s request.”  Then check your credit report in a month or two (www.AnnualCreditReport.com) to make sure that’s how it shows up.  That can be a plus to your credit score, because having “too much” open credit available can be considered a negative!  (I didn’t say it made sense; that’s just the way it is!)

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