When it comes to your credit, a card you’ve had for a long time has great value, even if you don’t use it. The longer you’ve had various lines of credit in your credit report, the better you look. Even though it seems tidier to cancel accounts you no longer use, leaving them alone is actually better for your credit score.
(If you have a spending disorder and just can’t manage credit well, it may be that your credit score already sucks, so canceling everything you can, to remove temptation, may be the wisest choice.)
I wish I had known this a decade ago when I “cleaned up” my credit report by removing old department store accounts I don’t use anymore. My oldest card would have been forty years old this year if I’d left it alone. My oldest card is 9 years old, and averaged with the others comes out to 6 years. By credit score standards, that’s merely “fair.”
So if you can, age those cards like fine wine!
Marie Brack is the author of Frugal Living for the 21st Century: Adventures in Using Your Money Wisely. It’s available on Amazon.com in both Kindle and paperback versions.