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Should I close an unused high-interest card?
After having gone through a period of crappy credit a while back, I have been steadily rebuilding for the past few years, and my FICO score just recently broke back into the “good” category. I currently have four credit cards with a combined credit limit of $7900, and I’ve been keeping my credit utilization rate under 10% as much as possible, rarely going over 30% and then only for a brief period. I’m considering closing the first card I received; it’s a First Premier MC which I know is one of the worst cards out there in terms of fees and interest rates, etc. (At my lowest point, it was the only unsecured card I could get, and I had to start somewhere.) It was issued with a $500 limit and despite my flawless payment history with them, they’ve never given me an increase (although if I request one, they will gladly give me one and charge my account a “ servicing fee” of 25 percent of the increase amount!) Meanwhile my other cards have been getting regular automatic limit increases, with no annual fees and much better APRs. My question is, since the First Premier is my oldest card (albeit only by about a year), am I better off keeping it to help my score as far as length of credit history and my credit utilization rate (assuming I don’t use any of it)? I'm currently paying $10.40/month in fees on it, and the APR is a whopping 36% so I don't even use it anymore. I just feel like I'm throwing away that ten bucks every month, just for the extra $500 it gives me to help toward my credit utilization rate. When I do the math, as long as I keep my card balances low and pay them down every month, that $500 doesn't affect my credit utilization rate all that much. Any advice would be much appreciated...thanks!

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While your score might take a small "ding" after closing this card, I agree with your not wanting to pay a monthly fee for a card. With three othere that have given you credit line increases and your utilization being very good, you are on your way to building an excellent credit score.  Go ahead and close the card and keep up the good work! 

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Thank you jwsister; I appreciate the input and encouragement, and I will close that account today. Thanks again!

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I agree with closing it, you don't need a card like that anymore. Just keep in mind that your scores may dip more on here with Vantage than they will with FICO, because FICO still factors in closed account to the "average age of accounts". FICO is the important system anyway.

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Thank you for the info! That's good to know about how the impact of closed accounts differ between FICO and Vantage. I'm learning something new every day and it feels good. 

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