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Advice on whether or not to close credit cards

Mark Cappel
UpdatedOct 12, 2007

Is it better for my credit to close the credit cards or leave them open and not use them?

I have 5 credits cards, 4 of which I don't use. Is it better for my credit to close the credit cards or leave them open and not use them?

The answer to your question depends on several factors, such as whether or not you have used the accounts in the past, if you have a good payment history with the creditors, and how much available credit you currently have on the accounts. If you have used the cards and have maintained a good payment history with the creditors, you may want to keep the accounts open, as accounts with long positive payment histories have a beneficial influence on your credit score. However, if you have never used the accounts, thus never established a payment history, it is possible that the open accounts could be weighing down your credit score. Having too much available credit tends to make you look like more of a risk to lenders, as you could potentially put yourself in financial trouble in a very short time.

I recommend that you try to balance these two factors to help raise your credit score as much as possible. Examine the interest rates on the five cards you currently have; you may want to close the two highest-interest cards, leaving you with three relatively low interest cards. You can then start spreading your credit usage over the three cards, paying off the balances every month, to establish a good payment history on all three accounts. Once you do this, you will have a good balance between accounts with good payment histories and too much available credit, which should help improve your credit score.

Also, if you are struggling to make payments on any of these credit cards and if you want a free debt consultation with one of Bill's approved debt help partners.

For more information about credit reports, credit scoring, and what they mean to you, I encourage you to visit the Credit Resources page.

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

Good Luck,



BBill, Sep, 2009
If you know you are being charged interest and late fees, you must be getting a statement from Chase. Call the customer service department -- the number is on your monthly statements -- and ask what steps you need to take to have the card activated. I'm certain that Chase would love for you to start paying the balance and retain you as a customer.
AArnold, Sep, 2009
my bank close out my credti card with balance of 1100.00 now ican not use the card but i sill have late fee and interect rates,now this card was with one bank but the bank sold out to me
JJenna, Nov, 2007
It's strange that people are impatient to have several credit cards at their disposal. When you apply for a credit card you have to define what for you need it.