In general, it's best to keep unused credit cards open so that you benefit from a longer average credit history and a larger amount of available credit.
A credit card can be canceled without harming your credit score; just remember that paying down credit card balances first (not just the one you're canceling) is key. Closing a charge card won't affect your credit history (history is a factor in your overall credit score).
Closing unused credit card accounts may sound like a good idea, but it could hurt your credit score because of increased utilization and, eventually, shorter credit history.
The numbers look similar when closing a card. Increase your balance and your score drops an average of 12 points, but lower your balance and your score jumps an average of 10 points. Two-thirds of people who open a credit card increase their overall balance within a month of getting that card.
It's worth noting that you probably won't see the effect on your credit score right away, since closed credit accounts still contribute to your FICO credit score until they fall off your credit report—which could be as long as 10 years from now.
Cons of Closing A Credit Card
When you close an account, you lose the credit limit available on the card. This will increase your credit use or the percentage of credit you're using. Your credit utilization is one of the factors credit bureaus use when determining your credit score.
Closed accounts that have missed payments associated with them will remain on your credit report for seven years. While your scores may decrease initially after closing a credit card, they typically rebound in a few months if you continue to make your payments on time.
An account that was in good standing with a history of on-time payments when you closed it will stay on your credit report for up to 10 years. This generally helps your credit score. Accounts with adverse information may stay on your credit report for up to seven years.
Although ranges vary depending on the credit scoring model, generally credit scores from 580 to 669 are considered fair; 670 to 739 are considered good; 740 to 799 are considered very good; and 800 and up are considered excellent.
You shouldn't close a credit card that has been open for a long time or a card with a high credit limit. Closing the account could negatively affect your credit history and credit utilization, and in turn, lower your credit score.
Closing a credit card with a zero balance may increase your credit utilization ratio and potentially drop your credit score. In certain scenarios, it may make sense to keep open a credit card with no balance. Other times, it may be better to close the credit card for your financial well-being.
You closed your credit card. Closing a credit card account, especially your oldest one, hurts your credit score because it lowers the overall credit limit available to you (remember you want a high limit) and it brings down the overall average age of your accounts.
The standard advice is to keep unused accounts with zero balances open. The reason is that closing the accounts reduces your available credit, which makes it appear that your utilization rate, or balance-to-limit ratio, has suddenly increased.
Credit utilization — the portion of your credit limits that you are currently using — is a significant factor in credit scores. It is one reason your credit score could drop a little after you pay off debt, particularly if you close the account.
Inactive cards: If you're no longer using a card, you may think it's best to close the account, especially if you're paying an annual fee on the card. Protection against identity theft: Some people may close a credit card account with the goal of reducing the chance that their identity will be stolen.
The main ways to erase items in your credit history are filing a credit dispute, requesting a goodwill adjustment, negotiating pay for delete, or hiring a credit repair company. You can also stop using credit and wait for your credit history to be wiped clean automatically, which will usually happen after 7–10 years.
Yes, it is possible to have a credit score of at least 700 with a collections remark on your credit report, however it is not a common situation. It depends on several contributing factors such as: differences in the scoring models being used.
Your 800 FICO® Score falls in the range of scores, from 800 to 850, that is categorized as Exceptional. Your FICO® Score is well above the average credit score, and you are likely to receive easy approvals when applying for new credit. 21% of all consumers have FICO® Scores in the Exceptional range.
When you close a credit card, you'll no longer be able to use it. You're still responsible for making payments on the outstanding balance of the card. Depending on the type of rewards earned from the card, you may lose access to them. It's important to consider your rewards before closing an account.
You may be able to reopen a closed credit card account, but it will depend on why your account was closed and your issuer's policies. There's no guarantee the issuer will reopen your account, especially if they closed it due to missed payments or other problems.
How many credit accounts is too many or too few? Credit scoring formulas don't punish you for having too many credit accounts, but you can have too few. Credit bureaus suggest that five or more accounts — which can be a mix of cards and loans — is a reasonable number to build toward over time.
Keeping just one credit card in your wallet means there's no margin for error if your card gets declined. You're probably not maximizing rewards. Although using one credit card will help you build rewards faster, you're probably not maximizing the miles, points or cash back you're earning.
Cardholders with unused credit cards often won't pay attention to cards, billing statements or notifications. This is usually fine when there's no balance to pay off, but after a long period of inactivity a card issuer may close a credit card account. The exact length of time varies among issuers.
If you're already close to maxing out your credit cards, your credit score could jump 10 points or more when you pay off credit card balances completely. If you haven't used most of your available credit, you might only gain a few points when you pay off credit card debt.