When closing old and unused credit accounts you must be careful in doing so as it does have positive and negative affects. It can help you avoid unnecessary fees and also help protect against identity theft. On the other hand it can also drop your scores if you are not careful. To help determine whether or not you should close your dormant accounts consider these tips.
- It is best to designate one card for regular use and to pay the balance in full each month. Set aside other cards for emergencies only so that you are not tempted to over spend.
- Do not close the oldest account on your credit report. This will cause your established credit history to appear shorter and can potentially lower your scores.
- If you are considering closing unused or idle accounts it can help with unnecessary fees being charged and eliminate the risk of being a target for identity thieves. It is best to close account with annual fees or the highest interest rates first.
- Do not over consolidate balances on one card. If your credit balances rise above 30% of your available credit limits you could potentially see a drop in your credit scores.
- Do not be pressured to cancel numerous accounts all at once. Gradually paying down and closing accounts may be the best plan if you are unsure of the impact your credit score may have. Spacing the closures gradually also will help in lowering the chance of attracting suspicion from creditors.
- Be sure to not just throw away old cards and expect for the accounts to be closed automatically. The best and safest way to close any credit card is to send certified letters to the credit company. Generally you should receive an account closing confirmation in 10 days.
- Keep in mind that you can cancel accounts that have active balances. You can request to close these accounts with your creditor to avoid the ability of making new charges while you continue to pay down the remaining balance each month.
After closing any credit account do not forget to check your credit reports for any updates and/or errors. Also remember to wait 30-60 days for the creditor to report the closed account to the credit reporting agencies and for them to also update your records. The accounts and the payment history will stay on your report for 7 or more years but should be marked as “closed.”
MSI Credit Solutions provides superior credit restoration and comprehensive consulting services that are reliable and affordable. For any questions or to schedule a free credit consultation, contact us at (866) 217-9841.
*The information in this article has been provided strictly for educational purposes.