Been working on the rebuild process for about a year...have a $400 Cap1 secured card ($300 secured, $100 unsecured) opened a year ago, bought a truck about 6 months ago on a crap loan, and recently refi'ed it to a not so crap loan, have a Fingerhut account at $200 a month ago, zero lates on all accounts, and on a whim applied for a Cap1 unsecured card yesterday and got approved at $500 on their Cash card (I'm astounded, as they say the card is for those with excellent credit, which I know for a fact isn't me yet, lol). Since I got approved for that card, I also applied for the Shell gas card, and got the 'we'll give you a decision within 30 days", which I assume will mean a denial letter in the mail in a couple weeks, lol. I figure the reason I got approved with Cap1 has more to do with the year of history with them, not so much with improved credit.
While I obviously still have a long way to go, and I have zero intentions of cancelling the secured card any time soon, I'm curious about when people decide to cancel the secured cards. I'm a little concerned about the hit that my AAoA will take, and frankly I figure the cost of the annual fee with the Cap1 secured really isn't much to me. This year they actually gave me an $18 credit without me even asking (only reason I even knew was that I saw it on the statement), so the AF ended up being $11. To me that's a tiny amount to pay to continue to improve my credit. I'm not hurting in any way by having the $300 tied up with them (in fact, I pretty much even forgot about it until last night).
So, given that, do I wait until I can get a couple more cards, then cancel the secured? Since it's not costing me much, do I just pocket the thing, charge a tank of gas on it occasionally to keep it active and reporting a positive for another few years until the AAoA hit will be minimal? If I end up with a couple cards with considerably higher limits in the future, does this one low limit card bring down the score?
I had a USAA secured card with $1000 CL and a USAA Rewards card with $3000 CL. I called them to ask if I could just combine the limits to $4k on the Rewards card and possibly give my deposit back if possible. They said it was not possible to do this. So I told them to close the secured card and then, while still on the phone, asked for a CLI on the rewards card. They approved me for $4500. Go figure.
Dave - did you open them at the same time or was the unsecured behind? I'm curious as I literally JUST got an unsecured (through cap one, $1,700) and I had that secured maxed at $3K.. I still have the secured, for AAoA reasons only, and am more/less in the same boat as the OP.
I started rebuilding with a USAA secured ($1000). I used that for about 4 months and then applied for USAA Rewards. Kept both for about 7 to 8 months, but ended up closing secured (as I mentioned in an earlier post) before the annual fee.
Closing your secured card won't have any effect on your AAoA.
Closed accounts stay on the report for 10 years. During this time, they still contribute to AAoA.
Most people have more than a few different aging accounts over a 10 year span of time that make the effect of a 10-year old account falling off pretty negligible.