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Will being inactive hurt my credit score?

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Dear Dr. Don,
I am and have been addicted to credit cards my entire life. I have over 30 of them, none of which are for department stores or gasoline. I have all MasterCard, Visa, American Express and Discover credit cards. They vary in credit limits from $800 to over $25,000, and there’s no debt on any of them. I just had one creditor cancel their card due to “inactivity.” Will this hurt my credit score, which varies from 722 to 765? I can’t resist a “preapproved” card.

Dismissal Don

Dear Don,
It’s great that you have the financial discipline to not carry a balance on your 30-plus national credit cards. Now you need to show some discipline when it comes to taking on new cards. The least painful way to do this is to opt out of receiving preapproved offers. That’ll staunch the flow of these temptations into your mailbox. Dial (888) 5-OPT-OUT or (888) 567-8688 to get off this treadmill.

The credit card companies review your credit report on a regular basis. They can see you have a habit of collecting cards but aren’t very good at carrying a balance. Odds are, you aren’t one of their more profitable accounts.

With your portfolio of cards and payment history, I’d be very surprised if one account closure for inactivity would have much, if any, effect on your credit score. An account closed by the creditor is typically bad news on a credit report, but having closed for inactivity isn’t a blemish on your credit history when there isn’t payment or outstanding-balance issues associated with the account.

You’ve got an excellent credit score and this one creditor’s action should have little to no impact on it. Rather than try to finesse this issue, spend a little time asking yourself why you have this need to collect credit cards.

To ask a question of Dr. Don, go to the ” Ask the Experts” page and select one of these topics: “financing a home,” “saving & investing” or “money.”