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should I close seldom used credit cards?

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There is -1- exception to this rule

Helpful to 12 out of 19 people

Aloha Friends,

There is only -1- exception to this rule! As in many things in life, there are always pros and cons to everything. I agree 100% that I would also keep the credit card(s) and lock them up under normal circumstances for reasons that are already very well explained here in other posts. The only exception being if that card has an enormous annual fee attached to it. I regret it now, but once upon a time I had an AMEX Gold and Plat card that I had zero balances on. Their annual fees are ridiculous and because of that I opted to cancel them so I didn't have to pay $600 per year just to maintain my good credit. I took a hit for a while, but eventually I worked my way back up from there. Last tip I'll leave here is always go for credit cards with no or very low annual fees, preferably with no. That will keep your hard earned money where it needs to be, in your -POCKET- and out of the bank's pockets.

So this is just my humble 2 cents, and of course your mileage may vary.

Take care and good luck!


Spartan Hiker

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Helpful to 55 out of 107 people

Keep them open as you dont want to close any established accounts. Check out the FICO score model to see how open revolving accounts with low balances and long history benefits your score! 

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Credit utilization HIGHLY impacts score

Helpful to 35 out of 43 people

Your credit card utilization is a factor than highly impacts your overall credit score, so it is *almost* NEVER in your best interest to close a line of credit you don't use. The more credit that you have available to you, the more you can safely spend without going past the dreaded 30% utilization point, where you will then get docked points on your overall score (going past 30% utilization can dramatically drop your score, anywhere from 30-100 points)

*** (one exception would be if there is an annual fee, on a card you are not using, the impact on your credit may be worth not having to pay a yearly fee)

Bottom line, If you've got a card that you don't use, LEAVE IT OPEN!! Aside from that, your best bet is to either:

  1. Lock the card up in a safe place  
  2. Cut up the card and dispose of it. You can always request a new card in the future if you decide you would like to use the credit line again.

I hope this is helpful & best of luck :)

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21 People Helped

Helpful to 21 out of 29 people

Credit Karma posts that the number of cards you have has a low impact on your score.  However, a credit improvement company told me that having more than three or four cards is bad for your score, and that closing unused accounts is positive in the long-run, but  will negatively effect your score for maybe a month or two, but only a little. Having said that, you should also know that they look at the average age of your credit. The older your credit accounts are the higher your score is, if all other things are equal.  So if you have some cards that you use and some that you don't, consider closing the newer ones rather than the older ones. 

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Helpful to 9 out of 11 people

Closing out seldom used accounts, reduces the amount of available credit, thereby increasing your debt to credit ratio. That will affect your score negatively. Also, the older the account, the more positive affect it will have on your score.

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Keep The Unused Cards

Helpful to 15 out of 23 people

You are far better off keeping unused credit cards even if you never use them again.  Open credit lines affect your number of credit lines, average credit length, and oldest currently open credit lines.  Also, closing a credit account will affect your credit utilization rate as your available credit will drop.

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Helpful to 13 out of 21 people

It's best not to use them and let your creditor close it for you. It has a more positive impact on your score.

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Closing Credit Cards

Helpful to 6 out of 11 people

I think you should leave them open. I heard that if you close them, it will impact your credit score. To minimze the cards that you have, see if you have cards from the same bank or institution and ask them to consolidate the cards into one. I had four cards from Chase, called then and asked if they would consolidate the three cards that I did not use as much into the card that I used almost everyday. Chase was very accommodating in the consoildation process which help me get rid of three cards without hurting my credit score.

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Closing unused cards

Helpful to 3 out of 9 people

I personally feel that closing unused cards will hurt your credit score rather than help it.  If you close an account that you have had for quite a while, your average length of credit can descrease.  Although this is not factored highly into your cedit score, it will still have a negative impact.  Also, closing a credit card account will decrease your amount of credit available while increasing you percentage of credit used (if you carry a balance from month to month).  A higher percentage of credit utilized is factored heavily into your credit score.  If you are frugile with your credit debt and do not carry a balance from month to month, the percentage of credit utilized will not change dramatically.  Therefore, your credit score may not suffer so much from closing the account.  There really is no right or wrong answer to this question.  It all depends on your personal situation.

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Closing unused card with high annual fee

Helpful to 1 out of 7 people

I thought I need a high annual fee credit card and then realized I didn't really need it after all :-(.

it comes up for renewal on June 1 for  $500 and I want to bail on it, but how will this impact my CS?

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Credit card

Helpful to 0 out of 4 people

How do I cancel a credit card that I have never used, plus my Mom shredded it 

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