04-02-2013 03:57 AM
I've been lurking around these forums trying to figure out if I could answer this on my own, but I feel like I'm in a predicament. I have 9 credit/retail cards. I've also been having trouble getting my credit score up as high as I'd like. TU- 682, EQ- 640, EXP- 673, no collections/bankruptcies, etc. I was unemployed about Months ago, was using about 80% of my $17,700 total credit, but always made payments. In the past Months, I've brought that down to $3000. Throughout that my score has improved, but it has fluctuated, at times even dropping and then increasing. My problem is I'm so overwhelmed by so many CC's that I just don't think I can practically keep up with using 10% on each one, especially when I really have no need for some of them. Here they are:
|National Tire & Battery (NTB)||600|
The Amex Clear & GM have been collecting dust, as well as BR & NTB.
Currently the only cards I have a balance on are: Discover IT: $700, Amex Blue Preferred ($50), & Hyatt ($300), (I'll pay those off this Friday when I'm paid), & Chase Freedom $1980 (0% interest till Oct, which is why I saved that to the end) . The Amex Blue is my oldest card (6+ years). All the other cards on their, believe it or not, are less than a year old. The Nordstrom visa is one where I'm actually an authorized user. I really want to close the Clear, GM Mastercard, NTB, Banana Republic..
Or, is it even the right the decision to close those?
Thank you so much for taking time to read this.
04-02-2013 04:04 AM
Rule of thumb is usually not to close if it doesn't have an annual fee.
04-02-2013 04:11 AM - edited 04-02-2013 04:12 AM
Ok. But aren't I harming my score if I'm not using the cards? Or is it more detrimental if I close them?
04-02-2013 05:16 AM
Agreed with the above. No need to close the card unless it has an AF. If you don't care about the card, just let it sit unused, the bank might close it, but that's fine. If you want to keep the bank from closing the cards you don't use, just make a small purchase ~every 6 months and then PIF immediately.
04-02-2013 05:27 AM
If you are worried about problems keeping up with all the cards, have you tried different ways of monitoring them? Excel spreadsheets (more work for you, safer depending on how you feel about external sites) or something like mint.com? And you don't need to use 10% on all of them. A pack of gum or iTunes song, etc. every month or two is enough for most cards.
04-02-2013 05:37 AM - edited 04-02-2013 05:46 AM
Welcome to the boards.
To provide some clarification for your statment, you do NOT have to use 10% of each one of your credit cards for a better credit score.
The rule of thumb is that you should have all of your cards reporting a zero balance except for 1 of them. To get the best score that one card should be reporting under 10% of your total revolving credit lines.
Now, it is different for each person, but someone between 1% and 9% reporting will give you the optimal score, but I don't worry about mine too much and just let mine report about 1%.
So, this means that you can pick the card that gives you the best rewards and just do your charging on that card and throw your other ones in the sock drawer if they do NOT have an annual fee.
If your card has an annual fee and you will not be using it, then you should consider closing it after the statement reports it's a zero balance.
For the cards that you will be keeping open, you can just pull them out the sockdrawer every 3 months or so, make a small charge on them and immediately make a payment, and then send them back to the sock drawer.
This will help you to manage which cards need payments on them and which ones do not.
Hope this helps.
Edit: b_seeker beat me to the response.
04-02-2013 05:38 AM
04-02-2013 05:42 AM
Definitely sock drawer the ones you don't intend to use.
Forums posts are not provided or commissioned by FICO. Forums posts have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by FICO. It is not FICO's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.Advertiser Disclosure: The listings that appear on myFICO are from companies from which myFICO receives compensation, which may impact how and where products appear on myFICO (including, for example, the order in which they appear). myFICO does not review or include all companies or all available products.
IMPORTANT INFORMATION: All FICO® Score products made available on myFICO.com include a FICO® Score 8, along with additional FICO® Score versions. Your lender or insurer may use a different FICO® Score than the versions you receive from myFICO, or another type of credit score altogether. Learn more
FICO, myFICO, Score Watch, The score lenders use, and The Score That Matters are trademarks or registered trademarks of Fair Isaac Corporation. Equifax Credit Report is a trademark of Equifax, Inc. and its affiliated companies. Many factors affect your FICO Score and the interest rates you may receive. Fair Isaac is not a credit repair organization as defined under federal or state law, including the Credit Repair Organizations Act. Fair Isaac does not provide "credit repair" services or advice or assistance regarding "rebuilding" or "improving" your credit record, credit history or credit rating. FTC's website on credit.