Are you tempted to close that credit card of yours that hadn't seen the light of day since forever? Before you make the decision to get rid of your credit card for good, take a few moments to think through things. It is important that you are aware how your credit health could be impacted. Here, we at GET.com encourage you to consider the following things before you take the plunge.
1. Will your credit utilization ratio take a hit?
Foremost, your credit utilization ratio compares the amount of credit used to the total amount of credit available to you. By closing your credit card, you are essentially reducing your overall available credit.
Unless you cut back on your spending fairly significantly or have your credit limit on other cards raised, your credit utilization ratio is bound to increase. This is not something lenders like to see as they typically consider your credit utilization rate, among other factors, to gauge how well you are managing your credit and whether or not you are (too) dependent on credit. Consequently, your credit score could end up hurting, especially if you have existing balances on other loans or credit cards.
Even if you rarely use the credit card, keeping it around may be a wise move so long as you manage your spending and pay your bills in a responsible manner. This is especially true if your credit card is a no annual fee credit card! Just try to use it occasionally so your account remains ‘active'.
2. Is said card account the oldest one on your credit report?
Although the average age of your accounts is not usually the most crucial factor when it comes to calculating your credit score, it can matter. If the credit card you are considering closing is one of the oldest accounts, if not the oldest account, closing it could hurt your credit score as the average age of your accounts drops.