Credit queries

I have so much to talk about that I wish one of you were a financial adviser who could spend an hour or two going through this stuff with me. So if you have any thoughts at all, let me know!

Facts: I technically have four open lines of credit.
No, this does not make me happy.
Of the four, two haven’t been used in at least 6 years.
One of them (the most recently opened) was used once and is being closed ASAP (tried tonight, but they were closed after 9pm).
That leaves 1 active credit card that is neither old, nor affordable.

Question 1: I’ve heard from multiple sources that you should keep your oldest line of credit open so it shows longevity in your credit report. Do you know if this is true?
My parents opened a card for me in 1994 (I was 11) and I plan on keeping it open even though I don’t have the card or ever use it. Do you think this is wise?

Question 2: is about another card I started in 2000. It’s also not being used. Should I close it out even though it’s dormant and I’ve had it for 7 years already? What do you think? I don’t need it or anything; I just don’t know what it would do to my credit score. Any ideas?

Question 3: How does one transfer the balance from credit company A’s card to company B’s card? Is it possible? Wouldn’t I owe company A money? My brain must be tired…
My active card has a standing balance while I try to pay it off ASAP. I wasn’t able to do it this month as I wanted. Should I switch now to a lower interest card? I’m kind of…lost about it all. I am eager to be in control of this situation from top to bottom.

Any advice?

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2 thoughts on “Credit queries

  1. 1. If you only have four, then keeping two open will probably not make any difference.
    2. It’s a good idea to close credit cards that you’re not using (and destroy the card) not so much because of your credit score, but rather to keep them from being used fraudulently.
    3. The thing that most affects your credit score is whether or not you have made the required payments on any debts. So you want at least to pay the minimum every month. Transferring balances means that you are, in effect, charging the balance of your account with A to your credit card with B, just as if you were buying something in a store. Some credit cards might treat it as a cash advance (and therefore charge more interest) but I think that most will use their regular interest rate, since you are doing what they (in this case B) want, that is, borrowing money from them. If you transfer the entire balance as of the end of last month, you will owe A nothing except any interest that may have accrued during this month, which will be only a few dollars and you can pay off with your next bill.
    In any case, what you want to avoid is not making a minimum payment. It’s better for you if you pay the entire balance each month, but it would actually help your credit score to let a balance carry once or twice, just paying the minimum or a little more. Having too many credit cards is bad for your credit score, but four is not too many, and certainly two is not.

  2. Hi Julia,

    Regarding which cards you should keep open…it really is more about what your debt to credit limit ratio around 30%, and no higher than 50%…meaning, if you take all 4 cards and the total credit limit is $10k, then you would want the maximum balance on the four cards tonot be higher than $5k, but better yet, at or below $3k.

    Yes, there is always the chance of someone unscrupulous getting ahold of your info…but it is good to keep the cards open, because it does help with the “depth” of your credit.

    Think about putting them on auto-pay through your bank for the minimum payments, and then you can always send in an additional amount, as well.

    For more ideas about credit, check out my blog at creditrepair4u.wordpress.com.

    Hope this helped!
    Kim

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