Q&A: Don’t close that credit card

Dear Liz: I’m debt free with a comfortable income and excellent credit. I just got a new cash-back credit card. I have three other credit cards, including one affiliated with a retail chain that I no longer use. Should I close the retail chain card so I only have three cards? Should I have fewer?

Answer: More is often better when it comes to your credit scores. The scoring formulas may temporarily drop a few points when you apply for a new card, but having at least four active credit accounts can help you achieve and keep high scores.

The formulas won’t punish you for having too many accounts or too much available credit. You could get dinged, though, if you use too much of that credit at one time. To avoid that, try to keep your balance on each card below 10% of its available limit.

Speak Your Mind