Should You Close Old Credit Card Accounts?
By Danielle Buffardi

One of the bigger questions surrounding credit card history is should you close old credit cards. When we speak of older accounts it’s not to mean a credit card that you’ve had for three months, but rather one you may have had for over five years. Sometimes it’s beneficial to keep matured credit cards and other times it may be useful to get rid of them. We’ll explore some of your options in this article.

If you’re a credit holder that has many forms of matured credit on your credit report then it’s a safe bet that you probably are not using every credit card you own. Maybe you keep the accounts open for emergencies when you think you may need the extra spending space, and that’s fine. Not all of us have an abundance of credit cards that we can pick and choose when to use them, sometimes we’re lucky to have gotten approved for one depending on our credit score. However, if you are among the privileged that has many card options, then spending some time going over your spendatures and deciphering when the last time you actually used certain cards can prove beneficial in deciding which accounts, if any, that you would be comfortable doing without.

Closing some old credit card accounts can help open up “available credit” on your credit report thus showing potential lenders that you are mature enough within your credit spending to handle more budding debt. This is a good thing if you’re planning a big purchase like buying a house. However, if you have, say, a Fashion Bug store card that you haven’t used in years and probably aren’t planning to anytime soon, then I’d say it’s a safe bet to go ahead and close that card as it most likely isn’t going against your credit score or even doing anything positive for it since it’s such a small card to begin with.

One of the most important things to remember when deciding on closing aged accounts is lenders would prefer to offer great deals to new customers as well as loyal ones. Closing most, or all, of your small time cards such as department store ones and leaving open only the bigger credit cards (e.g. American Express) will allow for other companies that you don’t have a history with to jump on offering new customer deals to you. Same idea holds true for cards that you have had for some time, if you’re a valuable customer then you can reap the benefits that lenders set aside for loyal clientele.

NOTE: Please keep in mind that just because you cut up your credit card doesn’t mean it has become a closed account on your credit report. In order to close and/or cancel any credit card, be it a store credit card or a major credit card, you must actually call the company and tell them that you wish to cancel their card. Only when you receive confirmation via mail is when you can be sure that your account has been closed properly.

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