Opal Writes In “I’m Worried About Hurting My Credit If I Close Credit Card Accounts”


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“Dear Steve,

I have two or three credit card that are debt free. Should I close these accounts since I don’t use them and don’t need but one active card?

Would it go against my credit to close these?


Dear Opal,

As strange as this may sound, with only two or three credit cards to your name it does not make much sense to close any of them, and here’s why.

Your credit score is calculated using a number of different factors. One of the most important factors is how long you’ve had credit. These cards help to improve your credit report and credit score because you’ve had them for a while and they are not maxed out or delinquent.

If you can lock them away someplace safe, then I would do that rather than close them. I’m assuming that you are not having to pay an annual fee for any of them either. If you are paying an annual credit card fee then we should think about closing that card but only if it is not your oldest credit card. You can also call your creditor that is charging you an annual fee and tell them that you don’t want to pay it. About 75% of the time they will waive the annual fee then.

The way to discover when your cards were opened is to get a copy of your credit report and check the date opened that is reported to the credit bureau on your credit report.

You should also use the oldest card from time to time and pay the balance off in full at the end of the month. This will show some good credit activity on your credit report which will help to improve your credit score as well.

If you just went in and randomly closed cards, yes, it could hurt your credit score.

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Steve Rhode is the Get Out of Debt Guy and has been helping good people with bad debt problems since 1994. You can learn more about Steve, here.
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