Category: personal finance

Myth No. 3:

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Closing old account that you don’t use anymore will boost your score

It is true that having too many accounts can put a dent in your credit score, but by the time you realize that, it’s too late. The problem lies in opening too many accounts in a very short time span. And closing them will not help your score. Especially not with the older accounts. In fact, it could result in more harm.

How it can cause more damage:
Closing your oldest accounts will result in making your credit history seem shorter than it actually is. And when it comes to credit histories, size does matter. FICO looks at the age of the oldest account, the latest account and the average age of all your accounts when deciding on a length of your credit history. The history is 15 percent of your total score. Besides, closing these accounts would mean shutting the door on the untapped credit potential you have, which in turn makes your current debt appear larger. This is reflected in the debt-to-credit ratio.

Keep your old accounts, but make sure they don’t have any annual fees or costs associated with them. Also, hide the cards somewhere you won’t use them. If you still wish to close accounts for any other reason, close the latest one with the lowest credit limits.

Just be aware that it will not increase your score.

Myth No. 1:

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Never using or not having any credit cards will improve your FICO score

It’s true that not having any credit cards might help control your spending, especially if the lure of too much available credit is too tempting to resist, but it will not help your score. What you need to keep in mind is that the FICO score of someone who has managed his credit responsibly is more likely to be higher than someone who has little or no credit history.

Buying everything with cash will surely save you from paying interest, but it is not an ideal thing to do in terms of building a good credit history.

How it can cause more damage:

Having too little credit history can lower your score, and if you don’t have any accounts that are older than 6 months, you might never get a score at all. They feel that the history is just not enough or too little to generate a score on. If you have a long history that is not so perfect and have made up your mind to get rid of all those cards, you are loosing on a chance to redeem yourself. FICO scores take into account the good and the bad, and if you generate more good, your score will improve.

Avoiding paying interest does not mean that you can’t build up a solid credit history. Use your credit cards in small amounts, and pay off the balance every month in full, and on time. This way, you succeed in building a favorable credit history and continue to enjoy a no-interest life.