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Is it better to close unused credit card accounts or leave them open with zero balance?

I have several credit card accounts that I no longer use, would it be better for my credit report to close the accounts or just leave them open with no balance on them?

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  Answers  |  6

August 10, 2015

Hi - Closing no-longer used credit cards will affect your credit score. Unfortunately there is no cut and dried way to decide which to close and which to leave open. A general rule is to leave open the oldest accounts and the accounts with the highest credit limits. You can usually close low limit accounts and newer accounts without much effect. I tell people to close the smallest credit limit account, then wait and check your score to see how it changed before closing another one. Keep in mind that when your score dips, it will come back up as you use credit responsibly. Good luck!

$commenter.renderDisplayableName() | 05.26.17 @ 01:47

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August 11, 2015

Good question ... are you trying to get your credit in shape for a loan application? If so - try to get pre-approved with the credit the way it is first ...if all looks good - then no need to adjust anything ....if you are just curious about this - what are your current 3 main credit bureaus scores ?

$commenter.renderDisplayableName() | 05.26.17 @ 01:47

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September 03, 2015

I'm not a professional but I've been told that part of the algorithm of getting your credit score is seeing that you are "comfortable" with debt without getting in trouble. But CC companies are big business and they want to make money off of you. Contact your card companies and see if they automatically close your accounts for non-use.

$commenter.renderDisplayableName() | 05.26.17 @ 01:47

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September 03, 2015

You want to close the credit card that you are not using, just having it open without using them doesn't necessarily hurt your credit so say, but it is not helping it either.

$commenter.renderDisplayableName() | 05.26.17 @ 01:47

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May 31, 2016

As a Certified FICO Professional, it is never advised to close an unused credit card account as it will negatively impact your FICO score in the areas of credit utilization (30% of the score) and average length of accounts (15% of the score). Don't go out of your way to close the accounts... let the creditors do that.

$commenter.renderDisplayableName() | 05.26.17 @ 01:47

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August 08, 2016

It is absolutely critical that you leave at least several revolving accounts open, if you want to keep your credit scores up. Revolving credit makes up 30% of your credit score, and if you have no open accounts, or only accounts that are at their credit limit, your scores will drop drastically. Keep some accounts open, use them every month or two so your creditors report the account activity to the credit bureaus.

$commenter.renderDisplayableName() | 05.26.17 @ 01:47

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