Closing Credit Card Accounts – Help or Hurt?

If you have an old credit card account with little to no balance it could actually help your credit rating.  Even though it seems feasible to close these account (I hate to risk the wrong person getting a hold of them) It could end up hurting your credit rating.  Closing an old account will   lower your credit score (opening a new account also will affect your credit score badly).  One factor affecting your score is your debt to limit ratio.  When you close cards the amount  of your debt to limit will increase.

Normally you want your debt to limit ratio to be no more than 25 percent of your borrowing limit across all your credit cards.  – Also having an old card with no history of delinquent payments will help your score.

While refinancing I found that even applying for a new store card came up.  To get our refinance with the terms I wanted we had to write a note to the company explaining that the card was for the store discount and showing that the balance was immediately paid in full.  We also are affected by the fact that even though we pay off each month, we use our cards for everything – so the companies see a running total that is around 50% of that card’s limit.  We carry several additional cards for just in case and to reduce risk of online fraud, I use specific other cards for specific sites.  We have a specific card for Amazon, one for Paypal and so on.  The card that I normally carry is normally not used online.