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Considering closing my oldest credit card?

always41319
New Contributor

Considering closing my oldest credit card?

Okay, so I have several CCs (CLs and dates in siggy), and I am looking to streamline the cards I have to maximize rewards. In looking at the cards I have, I'm realizing that the card I have the least use for is also my oldest card--my Paypal Extras MC opened 12/2013. I remember how excited I was to be approved since I'd struggled finding credit cards to accept me up until that point. But I've since gained cards with better rewards structures (IMHO) that are more beneficial to me. However, I hesitate to close my oldest card account simply because it is my oldest card. I'm wondering how much it would effect my scores to close this card.

Other info: I have 9 seperate SL tradelines, with the oldest opened in 9/2008 and the newest in 9/2012. I have one closed car loan from last July and an open one from this past May. So this card isn't my oldest account, just my oldest card. Does that make a difference in AAoA? I'm still a little unsure about how that works. Right now Credit Karma says my AAoA is fair at 3y, 9m, and I know the only way to improve it is to let time pass. I also know that positive tradelines stay on my report for 10 years, so I'm thinking any effect on my reports would be years down the line, right? Would it even have an impact at that point? No baddies, no late payments, nothing but positives (which I am very proud of, and plan to keep it that way.) It wouldn't really effect my UTIL either, since I PIF every month, except for one AMEX that has a 0% offer.

I only plan on apping for three more cards at this point--in December I'm planning on going for a Chase Freedom and maybe a Maurices card, as that is the only other store card I want and would use. And at some point down the line, I want the CSP, but not until my spend could justify the annual fee and I could afford to meet the spend bonus. With my income and spending, that won't be anytime soon LOL.

As far as my other cards, I plan to SD my BCE (my sister is an ACM on that card, and I don't want to close it at this point), grow my ED for everyday spending, use my IT and (hopefully) the Freedom for rotating categories, Sallie Mae for gas and groceries in non-category quarters, and use the store cards occasinally for cardholder discounts (which are worth it at those stores bc SO expensive LOL). The Paypal card is the only one that doesn't really benefit me anymore.

Haha this has been wordy, and I apologize so TL;DR--how will closing my oldest credit card (but not my oldest account) effect my scores/reports?

Paypal MC - $7,200 (12/13) | TJX MC - $10,000 (5/14) | Torrid - $3,000 (7/14) | Discover IT - $11,000 (11/14) | AMEX BCE - $5,000 (11/14) | Victoria's Secret - $2,850 (6/15) | Barclays Rewards MC - $10,800 (7/15) | AMEX ED - $7,500 (9/15) | Chase Freedom - $3,500 (6/16) | Maurices - $1,000 (6/16) | Citi Double Cash - $6,300 (7/16) | Ulta Rewards MC - $2,250 (7/16) | Chase Freedom Unlimited - $4,000 (4/17) | David's Bridal - $3,500 (11/19) | Capital One SavorOne - $8,000 (1/20)
CU Auto Loan - $10,684 - 60 Months @ 2.14%
Federal Student Loan - $28,218/$32,000 - Payoff Date: 12/2023
Message 1 of 9
8 REPLIES 8
BrutalBodyShots
Super Contributor

Re: Considering closing my oldest credit card?

Closing your oldest credit card won't hurt your scores at all; closed accounts under FICO models are still factored into your AAoA for 10 more years. 

 

Now, 10 years from now you'll take a slight AAoA drop when it falls off your report... but of course by then your AAoA depending on credit lines opened over the next decade should be quite a bit greater than it is now.

 

I personally say keep it open... just SD the card and take it out once every 3 or 6 months for a tiny purchase just to keep it alive.  Eventually they may cancel it on you anyway, but if you can continue to age that account 10+ years from now it will still be giving you a nice old account weight in your AAoA.  Just my opinion.

Message 2 of 9
driftless
Valued Contributor

Re: Considering closing my oldest credit card?

My wife had a 14 yoa Platinum Cap One Visa that Cap One would not give CLI's on so she combined it into her QS Visa of roughly 18 months of age. Her real FICO scores bumped up with the increase to the QS CL. Simpler can be better. This card will continue to add to her AAoA for 10 years by which time her other accounts will also have aged 10 years. You should disregard what CK has to say. True, they don't factor in closed accounts but nobody uses them for underwriting.
CSR | Amex Platinum | EDP | QS (2)
Amex Blue Business Plus
Message 3 of 9
CatOfSpades
Frequent Contributor

Re: Considering closing my oldest credit card?

Yep, yep. Close it. It's not even three years old. It will do little to nothing to your score - and anything that happens will only last for a few months anyway. driftless is right about the AAoA at Credit Karma being screwy. They only factor in open accounts. When lenders & creditors pull your score and report, ALL accounts from the last decade contribute to your AAoA. 

 

Personally, I don't see the point in holding on to a card that you never use and don't want to use just to keep it active on your credit report, especially when you have other active accounts that you actually want to use. Where I'm coming from, I closed my oldest account, 13 years old, last year. I don't regret a thing. Smiley Happy People get way too obsessed about every single little change to their scores. It's not that serious. One year later, my score is actually higher than it was when that old card was still open.

 

Chop, chop. Smiley Wink

♠Queen of Spades♠
Message 4 of 9
takeshi74
Senior Contributor

Re: Considering closing my oldest credit card?

There's a reference thread for this.  You can find it in the Credit Cards subforum in the Helpful Threads sticky.

 

Despite the tendencies of some you don't have to keep your oldest card open or hoard credit to build credit.

 

Also consider the typical weight of Length of Credit History.

http://www.myfico.com/crediteducation/whatsinyourscore.aspx

 


@always41319 wrote:

I'm wondering how much it would effect my scores to close this card.


Now I'm just picking nits but it won't effect your scores.  However, it can affect your scores.  Seriously, though, the immeidate impact is due to however your revolving utilization is impacted as indicated in the Closing Credit Cards thread.

 


@always41319 wrote:

Right now Credit Karma says my AAoA is fair at 3y, 9m


CK doesn't provide AAoA.  It provides AAoOA since it only considers open accounts.   FICO models use AAoA which includes closed accounts on your reports.

 


@always41319 wrote:

Would it even have an impact at that point?

We can't tell the future and have no idea what you'll do that will affect your credit over the next 10 years.  10 years down the road the accounts that are still on your reports will each be 10 years older but there's a good chance that you'll probably open new accounts in that timeframe that drop your AAoA to some degree.  If you want, you can run through some possible scenarios.  AAoA is just an average.  If you don't want to do the math manually you can use a spreadsheet and its date functions or any of the online AAoA calculators.  IMO it's not worth fretting over your oldest card.  I've closed my oldest cards a number of times and my FICO 8's are above 800.  Granted, YMMV depending on how you manage your credit but you don't have to hoard credit to build credit.  Some will tell you keep everything open if no AF but that's your call to make based on your needs, wants, preferences, priorities, etc and not something you should determine via polling.

Message 5 of 9
always41319
New Contributor

Re: Considering closing my oldest credit card?

Exactly the information I was looking for! Thanks for all the helpful replies.
Also forgive my terrible grammar mistakes; I should have caught effect vs affect--I was an English major! Blame my exhaustion lol
Paypal MC - $7,200 (12/13) | TJX MC - $10,000 (5/14) | Torrid - $3,000 (7/14) | Discover IT - $11,000 (11/14) | AMEX BCE - $5,000 (11/14) | Victoria's Secret - $2,850 (6/15) | Barclays Rewards MC - $10,800 (7/15) | AMEX ED - $7,500 (9/15) | Chase Freedom - $3,500 (6/16) | Maurices - $1,000 (6/16) | Citi Double Cash - $6,300 (7/16) | Ulta Rewards MC - $2,250 (7/16) | Chase Freedom Unlimited - $4,000 (4/17) | David's Bridal - $3,500 (11/19) | Capital One SavorOne - $8,000 (1/20)
CU Auto Loan - $10,684 - 60 Months @ 2.14%
Federal Student Loan - $28,218/$32,000 - Payoff Date: 12/2023
Message 6 of 9
RonM21
Valued Contributor

Re: Considering closing my oldest credit card?

Whatever benefits your financial situation is the most important, scores being put aside. If it makes sense to close it, I'd close it.
                

TCL: $306,100Utiliz: 6%AAoA: 5yrs 2mOther: Lease, Loan, *No MortgageCollections-Lates-BK's: 0

LWS-35k | BOA-50k | AMX-32.4k | DISC-33.6k | ALNT-25k | NFCU-33k | BARC-15k | BBUY-12k | CSE-10k | CP1-10k | CITI-11.7k | PF-38.4k


Message 7 of 9
CaveDiver86
New Contributor

Re: Considering closing my oldest credit card?

I closed my oldest being my Cap1 Platinum turned Quicksilver for not dropping the monthly membership fee of $5 (that's $60yr). They didn't want to change my card or play ball I told them to go number 1 up a tree. I had 4 brand new major bank cards with cleaned up credit so I was invincible. Closed it about 2 years ago and have not looked back.

Message 8 of 9
Peteyglad
Established Contributor

Re: Considering closing my oldest credit card?

Normally a lender likes to see some time with your current employer to prove you have a stable source of income. 

Chase Sapphire Preferred 20k | Amex Delta Platinum 20k | Amex Hilton Aspire 20k | US Bank Cash+ 25k | Chase Amazon Prime 25k | Barclaycard Aviator Red 40k | Bank of America Alaska Airlines 42k | Chase Marriott 50k | Discover It 50.3k | Thank You Premier 52K | EDP 52k | Bank of America BBR 57.9k
Message 9 of 9
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