You Should Close Cards to Improve Your Credit Score
Sometimes when you apply for a loan for a major purchase, such as a mortgage, you're told you can improve your credit score if you close some of your credit cards. Don't believe it. In fact, sometimes when you close an older card you can actually cause your credit score to go down.
That happens for two reasons. First, the best scores go to people who use credit moderately over a long period of time, so the older the cards, the better. If you need to close some accounts, close the newest ones first so you retain the cards with the longest history of prompt payment. If you don't have a credit history you'll find it very hard to get a major loan when you need one.
Second, credit scoring agencies put a lot of emphasis on what is called your 'utilization ratio.' It is essentially your total debt as a percentage of all your available credit. If you lower your available credit by closing cards, your utilization rate can actually look higher, hurting your credit score.Next: Myth No. 3