|Credit Score Lowered When You Cancel Credit Cards|
Most people are aware that anytime they seek a loan, the lender will check their Creditreport to see if their Credit History warrants such a loan. Along with the credit report, the lender will almost certainly check the borrower’s credit score. Also known as a FICO score, this score is a three-digit number, ranging from 300 to 850, that represents the borrower’s overall credit worthiness.
There are several factors that come into play in compiling a credit score. The score takes into account available credit, any past due payments, and the length of the borrower’s history, among other things. Also coming into play is the amount of available credit that the borrower has, along with the percentage of the available credit that is currently outstanding.
Borrowers often check their credit reports themselves prior to applying for a loan in order to look for possible errors. Often, they will see old accounts listed that they didn’t even know were active anymore, such as a department store Credit Card from a city in which they no longer live. The first response in this situation is usually to cancel the account, since it isn’t being used anymore. This could be a mistake, and could actually lower your credit score!
It is true that it may be a potential problem to have too much available credit. Lenders could have concerns that the borrower with ten credit cards might run out and max them all out. On the other hand, a very important component of the credit score is the length of the borrower’s credit history. The longer the better and those people with top credit scores usually have histories of thirty years or more. By canceling an old account, you could be reducing the length of your credit history, which will then consist only of newer accounts.
There are times when canceling unused accounts is a good idea. This is particularly true if the accounts are relatively new ones. But closing an old account, even if it isn’t being used, could do more harm than good for someone seeking a loan.
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Charles Essmeier is the owner of Retro Marketing, a firm devoted to informational Websites, including http://www.end-your-debt.com/, a site devoted to debt consolidation and credit counseling.