Editor’s note: This is a transcript of the audio file.
Do you have a credit card you don’t use? If so, it may be at risk. Lately, credit card companies have been closing unused accounts, and hurting customers’ credit scores in the process. I’m Kristin Arnold with your Bankrate.com personal finance minute.
Since being hit by the double whammies of the credit crisis and the CARD Act, credit card companies have started cutting credit limits or even closing accounts they consider unprofitable. If your account is rarely used or only has a small balance, you could be next.
Having such a credit card account closed could hurt your FICO score by altering your “utilization,” which is credit industry-speak for the amount of credit you have available versus the amount you’re currently using.
A closed account can also hurt you by wiping out its positive payment history. Also, part of your credit score is determined by how long you’ve had a credit history. If your credit card company closes your oldest credit account, it won’t disappear from your credit report immediately, but when it does, it could zap your FICO score. For more on this and other personal finance issues visit bankrate.com. I’m Kristin Arnold.