I had 3 credit cards
Circuit City 1995 $4100 limit
MC RBS 1999 $1100 limit
Visa Citi 1998 $1000 limit
I now only 1 card (Visa). Circuit City was closed when they went out of business. Yesterday, I got a letter that stated my MC account was closed for inactivity. It had only been about 9 months since I used the card. I did used the card at least once or twice a year. I always paid on time and in-full. Can't believe they would do it. I used this card more than the other and it was the newest.I also maintained a zero balance most of time on all 3 cards.
I have not checked my FICO scores since these accounts have been closed. I did have high FICO scores on all 3 reports...approx 800, now they are probably in the toilet. I really can get by with one card, but kept the other accounts open because of the owe to credit ratio. I have thought about applying for anoth card or asking for an incresse on my one remaining account, but fear they will turn me down and that will hurt my score more.
I used my VISA card today to get some activity on it so that one does not close. It does expire in a couple of months. Hopefully, they will issue me a new one and not cancel me. I will try to use the card every six month or so to keep it active. Is six months enough or do I need to use it more? I don't want to use it too often. I don't shop much. How long should wait before checking my FICO scores? Is there a way to get my Esperian score? I had forgot that they no longer provide it on this until I logged in. Thanks.
I think banks should notify you before closing account to give you the opportunity to state your case or use your card to get some activity on it. I would done it to keep it active. Oh well, I guess banks don't really care if they have customers.
Class---welcome to the forums!
To your questions, it would be best to use your card regularly. It shows use and can also help you get increases, as Citi does like to see activity.
It is usually recommended to have several cards, use them regularly (during the month), pay all but one off before the statement cuts for those cards, and pay off the single card that shows a balance on the statement when the statement cuts.
This will help you keep or get your scores back up. It is also recommeneded that you purchase your scores from this site (check for discount coupons on Google), and then operate from there. Many of the great links in the credit education section can help you fill in the details to the others important strategies that are necessary in this credit climate.
Citi also provides periodic credit increases (soft pulls). Go online and check the Tools section to see if a credit increase is already available to you.
I believe the previous poster was talking about the "Tools" section of the Citi website.
You can use credit cards online and they work just the same as if you went to a store, so no worries there. You don't have to have a balance every month, in fact, it is much much better to PIF (pay in full) every month. What you want to do though is get two more cards (or call and ask that your accounts be reopened) and let one of them report an amount (say $25). So, for example, my due date for my card is the 28th. I pay off everything on the 28th and then charge one item (groceries usually, about $60) BETWEEN the 28th and the 5th. My statement comes on the 5th and the amount ($60) is reported. This means I am "using" my card, but since I PIF every month (that $60 is paid on the next bill), I don't have to pay interest.
For you, I'd use one card and do as I explained above and the other two cards should report nothing. So you should buy something (say, go out once a month for lunch) and then as soon as you get home, or in the next few days, pay that bill before you even get the statement (since you know how much it was). This will keep the cards current but will help your score.
Debit cards are the equivalency of a modern check, in otherwords, they don't report and won't change your scores.
Keep asking questions, people on these fourms are really very helpful.
HSBC just closed my account without notice. However in my case not only was my account inactive, but it was also 30 days past due. Such a bummer. They mentioned that once regular payments were received for a while they would reconsider opening it upon request, but now I know not to waste my time... *Shrugs* Thanks.
Attempt to re open the closed account.
If they will not re open, then simply go online and apply to open a card with Bof A or some other bank.
You want to get a credit line or two open to counter act when the Circuit City and the closed card fall off your report you will have some accounts with age on them.
Do not worry about any "drop" in FICO by applying. FICO only matters when you need to get credit, Opening a few new accounts will drop you but you will regain in short order.
In addition I would also consider a Target, Kohls or Macys card as they trend to not require constant use.