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Registered: ‎08-17-2007
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Can you EVER cancel unused credit cards without hurting score?

Hi!  
 
I have a really good score (802) but the only thing hurting it is that there are 32 accounts open.  Most of these I have opened over the years to get discounts at department stores, etc. and don't even use them.  There are no fees, but I want to cancel them.  A few months back, I cancelled 12 accounts and my score dropped 20 points.  It's now back up, but will this happen again if I cancel more?
 
Thanks!
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Posts: 16,383
Registered: ‎03-12-2007

Re: Can you EVER cancel unused credit cards without hurting score?



wingscapsfan wrote:
Hi!  
 
I have a really good score (802) but the only thing hurting it is that there are 32 accounts open.  Most of these I have opened over the years to get discounts at department stores, etc. and don't even use them.  There are no fees, but I want to cancel them.  A few months back, I cancelled 12 accounts and my score dropped 20 points.  It's now back up, but will this happen again if I cancel more?
 
Thanks!


You have an excellent score! Closing CCs can be a bit tricky. In the short-term changes in your available credit and credit used ration can adversely affect your scores. For more info read the closing credit cards link in my sig line.
Credit Profile -
FICO 08 Scores (03-26-2015): EQ 814, EX 817, TU 822
All three scores were 850. Lost points for not having an open installment TL. So, BE WARNED!!!!!
Credit History: 26 years ~ AAoA: 13 years ~ Util: 1% ~ Inqs: EX 1, EQ 1

Credit Cards: Amex BCP ~ Amex Clear ~ Amex Platinum ~ Barclay Ring Mastercard ~ Chase Freedom Visa ~ CITI Dividend Platinum World Mastercard ~ FIA Fidelity Investment Platinum Visa ~ First Hawaiian Bank Gold Visa
Moderator Emeritus
Posts: 6,182
Registered: ‎03-29-2007

Re: Can you EVER cancel unused credit cards without hurting score?

The only area of scoring where closing an account can hurt you is in the revolving utilization calculations. While a closed revolving account with a balance is included in utilization, a closed account with a zero balance is not.

In the area of length of credit history, closed accounts are treated no differently than open accounts. That is, the length of history on a closed acct still gets counted right along with the rest of the closed account's history. In fact, the length of credit history gets counted for every trade line on your report, regardless.

So, the only harm by closing a revolving account is to the utilization percentage, while, in the long run, a closed account will be removed from your credit file after 10 years, which could lower your score at that time due to the loss of that history.
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Posts: 28,098
Registered: ‎04-01-2007

Re: Can you EVER cancel unused credit cards without hurting score?


Tuscani wrote:
...while, in the long run, a closed account will be removed from your credit file after 10 years, which could lower your score at that time due to the loss of that history.

10 years after date opened? date of last payment? date closed? Sorry--I know you have kindly explained this to death, but it's counter-intuitive, and so many people keep getting it wrong. thx
* Credit is a wonderful servant, but a terrible master. * Who's the boss --you or your credit?
FICO's: EQ 781 - TU 793 - EX 779 (from PSECU) - Done credit hunting; having fun with credit gardening. - EQ 590 on 5/14/2007
Moderator Emeritus
Posts: 16,383
Registered: ‎03-12-2007

Re: Can you EVER cancel unused credit cards without hurting score?



haulingthescoreup wrote:

Tuscani wrote:
...while, in the long run, a closed account will be removed from your credit file after 10 years, which could lower your score at that time due to the loss of that history.

10 years after date opened? date of last payment? date closed? Sorry--I know you have kindly explained this to death, but it's counter-intuitive, and so many people keep getting it wrong. thx

10 years after the CC is closed
Credit Profile -
FICO 08 Scores (03-26-2015): EQ 814, EX 817, TU 822
All three scores were 850. Lost points for not having an open installment TL. So, BE WARNED!!!!!
Credit History: 26 years ~ AAoA: 13 years ~ Util: 1% ~ Inqs: EX 1, EQ 1

Credit Cards: Amex BCP ~ Amex Clear ~ Amex Platinum ~ Barclay Ring Mastercard ~ Chase Freedom Visa ~ CITI Dividend Platinum World Mastercard ~ FIA Fidelity Investment Platinum Visa ~ First Hawaiian Bank Gold Visa
Senior Contributor
Posts: 3,071
Registered: ‎05-17-2007
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Re: Can you EVER cancel unused credit cards without hurting score?

[ Edited ]
I just closed newer cards, no change in score. But if their really old, I would keep them forever if they don't cost you anything. Just put them in a drawer and use every 6 months. They will always be helping your average age. Now when they fall off my credit report I will have a different average age. In my case since they are new cc's when they fall off my average age will be higher. If your cards are older, it can have the opposite effect.

Message Edited by ilovepizza on 09-16-2007 01:56 PM
If we never set higher goals we would never get as far.
sol, credit 101, acr, abbreviations, calc
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Senior Contributor
Posts: 3,071
Registered: ‎05-17-2007
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Re: Can you EVER cancel unused credit cards without hurting score?

It's different for each lender. 6 months is usually good. BofA stops reporting after 2 months of inactivity on my CR. Amex after 12 months on my CR, some after 6 months. You can view your cr and when ever the little green boxes stop appearing with a new date, they stopped reporting. From there you can gauge how often to use a card before it goes dormant if I got this right. Smiley Happy Dormant = not reporting? Am I correct.
If we never set higher goals we would never get as far.
sol, credit 101, acr, abbreviations, calc
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