Having good credit makes your life easier when it comes to qualifying for low interest rates on loans and credit cards. Good credit facilitates rental applications, utility hook-ups, low-rate auto insurance and setting up cell phone service. Some employers look at your credit history in their decision to hire you. Although credit cards can help you establish and build credit, having more cards than you need or that are not well managed can compromise your financial health. You may find that the best way to avoid further debt is to close these accounts.
Pro: Prohibits Potential Debt
Managing debt is a common problem, especially for debt accruing from credit card purchases. To ensure that you are free of future debt, eliminate multiple cards and only maintain cards that assist you in building a good financial history. To cancel such credit card accounts, call the phone number typically found on the back of the card and inform the issuer that you wish to cancel your card. This will help you control your spending and get back on track to leading a debt-free life.
Pro: Improves Credit Score
Closing some credit card accounts, particularly store cards with high rates, can work in your favor when it comes to credit scores. Having fewer cards means fewer bills to pay and keep track of, which goes a long way in streamlining your personal financial management. Whether you consolidate your high-interest cards into a few low interest ones or pay them off altogether, you have taken a step toward improving your credit score. Verify that the issuer will report the account closure to the credit agencies as having been closed "at the customer’s request."
Con: Credit Timeline Erasure
In the credit scoring system, typically 15 percent of your credit score is attributed to the length of your credit history. When you cancel a credit card account that you've had for a long time, you shorten your credit history, even though any late payments associated with the card continue to be factored into your score.
Con: Reduces Total Credit Capacity
In addition to losing out on the rewards and other perks you earn when you use a credit card, canceling the card may negatively impact your utilization ratio. Closing the account reduces your total credit capacity by an amount equal to the limit on the card. Because 30 percent of your credit score is derived from a debt-utilization calculation, canceling a card can negatively affects your score. Request an increase on the credit limit of another card to counteract this affect.
- Creatas/Creatas/Getty Images
- How to Handle Inactive Credit Card Accounts
- Can You Use a Debit Card as a Credit Card Without Your PIN Number?
- Positives & Negatives of Credit Cards
- Tips For Past Due Credit Card Bills
- Will Paying Bills With a Credit Card Hurt My Credit Score?
- How to Improve Your Chance of Getting a Credit Card
- How Does a Credit Card That the Balance Has to Be Paid Every Month Differ from Other Credit Cards?
- Should I Close My Revolving Credit Card Accounts If I Don't Use Them?
- Does Being a Secondary Person on a Credit Card Lower My Credit Score?
- Three Recommendations for Credit Card Usage