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Does Canceling a Credit Card Hurt Your Credit?

Get tips about closing a credit card and whether it can hurt you.

By
Laura Adams, MBA
4-minute read
Episode #147

Don’t Cancel a Card with Lengthy Credit History

Another issue to consider before you cancel a credit card is how long you’ve had it. Your credit history is the third most important factor in the calculation of your credit score. Canceling a long-standing credit card shortens your history, which could be an additional injury to your credit score.

Don’t Cancel Your Only Credit Card

The last reason I’ll give you not to cancel a credit card is that you need a healthy mix of credit accounts. As I mentioned, that makes up 10% of your credit score. If you cancel your only credit card, that would leave you deficient in the revolving credit category.

Weigh the Credit Card Pros and Cons

It’s important that you weigh the pros and cons of canceling a credit card for yourself. I certainly discourage you from having a credit card if you wouldn’t use it wisely. If you can tuck it away and use it only for emergencies, that’s great. But if the temptation to use it would still be there, one solution is to keep the account open for the sake of your credit score, but to shred the card.

For more Money Girl advice regarding credit scores, check out these episodes and tips:

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Cut Up Card image from Shutterstock

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About the Author

Laura Adams, MBA

Laura Adams received an MBA from the University of Florida. She's an award-winning personal finance author, speaker, and consumer advocate who is a frequent, trusted source for the national media. Money-Smart Solopreneur: A Personal Finance System for Freelancers, Entrepreneurs, and Side-Hustlersbook is her newest title. Laura's previous book, Debt-Free Blueprint: How to Get Out of Debt and Build a Financial Life You Love, was an Amazon #1 New Release. Do you have a money question? Call the Money Girl listener line at 302-364-0308. Your question could be featured on the show.