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I have two open accounts that I haven’t used or paid on for at least 4 years. They are just sitting there taking up real estate on my credit report. Should I close the accounts, or are they working for me?

by the way, both cards have $ 0 balance. one has a $ 300 credit limit and the other has a $ 0 credit limit,

8 Thoughts on For your credit score, is it better to have open accounts that you don’t use?
  1. Reply
    July 27, 2011 at 12:19 am

    It would be better to run a transaction through them a couple of times a year. But, sitting there without use still gives you credit tiems you were approved for and it helps your overall score. If you were to close them, that would actually have a negative effect. It’s a bass ackwards way to do things!

  2. Reply
    July 27, 2011 at 12:29 am

    No better to have accounts closed the more credit you have available it lowers your score

  3. Reply
    July 27, 2011 at 1:00 am

    If you have other credit, then yes, close them. Your credit score takes into consideration accounts which are open and have the potential to be maxed out. So, although you are showing a zero balance on them, they could be used at any time, thus lowering your score. Your payment history only goes back 1, on some reports 2 years so especially if they’re not even showing a good payment history you should cancel them.

  4. Reply
    July 27, 2011 at 1:16 am

    It’s better to leave them open than to close them, as far as your credit scores are concerned. Your debt to income ratio is the main factor influecning your credit scores, so leaving an unused account open doesn’t hurt, but helps by showing the creditors that you have a certain amount of financial stability regarding your use of credit cards.

  5. Reply
    July 27, 2011 at 1:36 am

    activity shows responsibility, in the long run will up your credit limit. The way they give those things out anybody can get em. Don’t run your credit to many times either, that will lower your score. Use those cards and they will work for ya.

  6. Reply
    July 27, 2011 at 2:01 am

    I’m not an expert, but here’s what I think: I don’t think those accounts are doing anything for you. The idea of credit reporting is to show how well you deal with finances, how responsible or irresponsible you are with money and bills. Your not showing them anything by having accounts you don’t use. Most credit cards companies cancel your credit card if you’re not using them. I’m sure you’re just being cautious. I suggest you actually use your card for something you need and either pay 75% or all of it off as soon as the next bill comes. If you use it from time to time they can see that you have a credit history and it is a responsible one. It’s good to have a long standing account, but you should actually use it.

  7. Reply
    July 27, 2011 at 2:42 am

    Okay, this is a topic near and dear to my heart…do NOT close the cards. Use them every once in a while. Maybe once a year. Just to keep them active. Closing them will not help your credit score. While it is true that when shopping for large purchases (car or home loans, for example) your debt to credit ratio is examined – your credit score itself is looked at from the standpoint of having “cushion” for any little dings you get along the way.
    Example: Linda and John both have 700 credit scores and both forget to pay their electric bills, resulting in a 30 day late on their reports. Linda’s score drops to 675 and John plummets to 630. Why the difference? Linda has 8 open and active accounts and John has 2. Linda had more “good credit” to cushion the blow of that 30 day late.

  8. Reply
    July 27, 2011 at 2:44 am


    Your score is directly related to the amount of open available credit limit you have. Closing an account that reports available limit can lower the score temporarily.

    I write a blog on the subject of credit management, mortgages, real estate trends, etc. Check it out for more information that may be helpful.

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