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When is a CC considered inactive?

Senior Contributor

When is a CC considered inactive?

Does activity include only making a purchase? Say you have a BT card that you have paid on for a year. Since you haven't made new purchases, is it considered inactive?


Also, does anyone know if there is any FICO score penalties associated with being inactive? Maybe it doesn't penalize you, but you would have a couple extra points if the account were to be active? 



Here we go again...
Message 1 of 5
Valued Contributor

Re: When is a CC considered inactive?

An inactive credit card's credit line will not count in calculating your utility.  Other than that it doesn't hurt anything.....If you decide to take an official inactive card and use it you would probably lose a few points the first month it reports then regain them back the following month.


It is up to the creditor to report it has inactive.  For the most part (knock on wood) I have a 1/2 dozen credit cards that I haven't used in some time (1 year or more) and only one shows as inactive on my credit reports.

Mortgage Lenders Mid-Score 778 I AM A HOMEOWNER!!!!! 30 Year 5% Fixed Rate, closed on 3/18/09
Message 2 of 5
Senior Contributor

Re: When is a CC considered inactive?

Hiya, thanks for the reply!


But this begs the question, why would you use lose points for using an inactive card? It's not like opening a new account. 

Here we go again...
Message 3 of 5
Valued Contributor

Re: When is a CC considered inactive?

Well, yes it is a bit like a new account. It is something new in that you are using a credit card that you haven't used for awhile and this is an indication that you are a poorer risk, even if you are the tiniest bit poorer risk.


I have noticed that it has a 2-4 point hit, which is much smaller than a new account that usually gets me a 10-13 point hit. HOWEVER, if that use puts me over the "magic" number of having balances on half of my open accounts then it has a much larger effect. I keep several inactive accounts active by using them once or twice a year and then paying the balance online before the statement is generated. That seems to work with most of them, not all.

Message 4 of 5
Established Contributor

Re: When is a CC considered inactive?

I actually got the following as a positive on my TU Credit Report in July:


You've shown recent use of credit cards.

Your FICO score evaluates your mix of credit cards.  installment loans and mortgages. People who demonstrate responsible use of different types of credit are generally less risky to lenders. You helped your FICO score by showing recent use of a credit card.



This was after I used a few cards that I hadn't used in over a year.  How it affected my score, I don't know, because I don't have scorewatch, nor do I pull my scores that frequently.  However as you can see by my siggy my TU score went up from April to July.  But again that could be because of any number of things.


4/16/09: TU: 775, EQ: 805
2/11/09: TU: 773, EQ: 790, EX:790
11/16/08: TU: 773, EQ: 785, EX: 780
Goals for 2009: 0 Credit Card Debt & 0% Util (achieved 2/6/09), Mortgage! (achieved 11/2/09), getting closer to 800 scores (I crossed this earlier this year, but I'm sure I'm not there anymore!)
Message 5 of 5