Ask Bill your personal finance question

Question about Excellent Credit

Our credit card company made it sound like it would ruin our credit to close our account. Is that true?

We (my husband and I) have excellent credit. We really don't worry about our credit score because we don't need to. We have a mortgage, we don't carry a debt load on anything but the house. So there are a lot of card companies offering cards. We have two cards, one Amex and one MasterCard. Both have perks like cash of hotel points. We are disgruntled with the Mastercard because they have put us in situations where we were denied use because it a. was a large purchase on a weekend and my husband was on business in germany and they thought it might be fraud. As a result of these two situations, we decided to cancel them. When we did, they acted weird and said that we shouldn't (they almost sounded threatening) and that a 10 year history with them was BAAD to break. The guy even said "I'm going to have to tell the credit agencies" with a tone of threat. Basically he made it sound like it would ruin our credit to disrupt this long and faithful relationship. I told him we didn't care and cancelled the card. What do you think? Is this guy serious? I guess it shouldn't matter, but we don't like being treated like that, and in a way threatened. By the way my credit score is 819 and my husbands is 789. We only found that out recently when we took out a home equity line of credit for the first time in our lives which we will pay off in 3 or 4 months.

Read full question
Bill's Answer
4.2
/5.0
(6 Votes)

Bills.com | Find Learn Save

That's a great question, and the very quick answer is that you are both right! Having a long (10 years plus) history on a trade line has a positive impact on your credit score. However, it sounds as if you are on VERY solid financial and credit footing, so if the creditor offended you then you have every right to close the card. I assure you that many others will be very willing to extend a credit card to you.

I would also say that the card being declined in Germany is not such a bad thing, as it is also a protective measure so that you do not become the victim of credit fraud.

If you want to open another card (it is a good idea for personal flexibility and for maintaining positive credit) you can search for credit cards that match your criteria by visiting the Bills.com Credit Card Center.

I will also give you some more detail on what the creditor was telling you.

The details of credit scoring models used by the major credit bureaus are closely guarded trade secrets, owned by the companies that have developed the scoring models. The best known and most widely used scoring model, the FICO score, which judges your credit on a scale from 300 to 850, was developed by the Fair Isaac Company, and is used with slight variations by the three major credit bureaus: TransUnion, Experian, and Equifax. Because the complexity of the statistical analysis used in credit scoring, and the fact that the scoring algorithms are not publicly available, you cannot precisely figure your own credit score. However, Fair Isaac has made public the general criteria it uses in calculating credit score. So based on information in your credit report, you should be able to tell which items in your report are helping or hurting your credit score.

There are five key factors that go into calculating your credit score, with certain items carrying more weight than others. These factors are as follows:

1) Payment history, which counts for approximately 35% of your score, is the most heavily weighted factor used in calculating your credit score. Consistently paying your bills on time has a positive influence on your score, while late or missed payments will hurt you in this area. If you have delinquent payments, the older the delinquency the less the negative impact on your score will be. Collection accounts and bankruptcy filings are also taken into consideration when analyzing your payment history.

2) Total debt and total available credit, which counts for about 30%. This section looks at how much debt you have compared to the total available credit on your accounts. If all of your accounts are maxed out, you will be considered a poor credit risk, because it appears that you are struggling to pay off the debt you have already incurred. If your account balances are relatively low compared to your available credit, this part of the risk analysis should help your overall credit score. The score calculation also looks at these two factors independently. Having too much available credit, whether you have used it or not, could hurt your credit score, as statistical studies have shown that people with excessive amounts of available credit are a higher credit risk. Unfortunately, the bureaus do not define exactly what they consider excessive, so best tip is to use credit conservatively and to keep your debt to credit limit ratio low.

3) Length of positive credit history, which counts for about 15%. The longer you maintain accounts in good standing, the better your score will be. This shows that you are able to make a long-term commitment to a creditor and are consistently responsible about making your payments.

4) Mix of types of credit, which counts for approximately 10%. Having several different types of credit, such a credit cards, consumer loans, and secured debt, will have a positive influence on your credit score. Having too much of one type of credit can have a negative impact.

5) The number of new credit applications you have recently completed, which accounts for about 10% of your score. Applying for too much new credit in a short time period makes indicates that you could be credit risk, as you may be desperately trying to keep your head above water. The models make an exception for people who are shopping around for a loan, so if you are simply applying to see who can give you the best rate on a new loan, you need not worry too much about damaging your credit score.

While you cannot realistically calculate your own credit score, you can review your credit report for on the five factors I named above to get an idea of whether the accounts listed on your credit report are hurting or helping your credit score. You can then take action to improve any potential problems, such as paying down your balances or paying off collection items.

Also, factors such as age, sex, income, and length of employment, have no direct affect on your credit score, and are not considered when the bureaus calculate your score. Keep in mind that for most lenders, your credit score is only one aspect, albeit an important one, of your overall “credit worthiness,” meaning the creditor’s view of your ability to repay a loan. Your income, for example, is not considered in the calculation of your FICO score, but most lenders will ask you what you earn to analyze your ability to repay the loan. Even if you have an 800 FICO score, if your income is only $10,000/year, a lender will probably not loan you a large sum of money, because despite your past credit habits as measured by your FICO score, the lender can see that you probably cannot afford to repay the loan.

If you would like to learn more about credit reports, credit scoring, and what it means to you, I encourage you to explore the wealth of material offered by Bills.com at credit page

I hope this information helps you Find. Learn & Save.

Best,

Bill

Bills.com

4.2
/5.0
(6 Votes)

People also like to Read

Daniel Cohen

Credit Card Counseling | Credit card counseling has helped millions of people resolve their debt problems. Learn more about c... Read more >>

Betsalel Cohen

There are many ways to get debt help, and Bill has given advice on each one of them.... Read more >>

Mark Cappel

Learn all about credit card debt consolidation loans and find a reputable lender from Bills.com - your source for saving mone... Read more >>

Daniel Cohen

Having an IRS tax lien or a State Tax Lien filed against you demands quick action. Free tips from bills.com. ... Read more >>

2 Comments

Recent Best
1500 characters remaining
  • BA
    Sep, 2008
    Bill
    If you look at Fair Issac's website at http://www.myfico.com/, you will see that you can expect to pay about 5.750% (assuming you fall under the 760-850 range.
    0 Votes

  • JA
    Sep, 2008
    JOSE
    I have an axcelent credit history. scores are 790; 755 and 745. I am about to buy a house adn I would like to ask what kind of rates should I expect with an excellent credit history on a mortgage loan of 80000.00 and 39.000.oo year income.
    0 Votes

loading...