Just how imp is length of open acct

Discussion in 'Credit Talk' started by faztcobra, Sep 9, 2003.

  1. faztcobra

    faztcobra Well-Known Member

    How important is it not to delete your longest standing tradelines. Over the years, I've used various credit cards and as soon as I knew I would never use that card again, I canceled it. At this point in life, I could possibly have CCs that are 11-12 yrs old, assuming I had kept them all from the beginning. I usually open up new ones before I close the old ones though. Anyone know how important this is or if it really has any effect on your scores. I have a lot of history...probably having open 20-25 different accts over the last 8-9 years, but none being longer than 2 1/2 yrs old at this point(stupid Providian). I'm basically asking because I want rid of this Providian card I've had because they won't budge off of their $1k limit, when my next lowest limit is $4k. Closing it surely wouldnt hurt me would it?
  2. Slavic

    Slavic Well-Known Member

    If I remember correctly age of accounts affects 15% of credit score. Age of the oldest item on one's credit report is the most important as it determines age of your credit history. Average age of all accounts is another factor.

    I have read a post where someone closed a small card because one of the negative items was too many cards and lost 89 points due to the fact that it was his oldest account and the rest were significantly newer. I've also seen reported a drop in score after an old charge off (for student loan I think) was deleted because it was the oldest item on the report and the rest were significantly newer. In this case the negative effect of significantly shortening age of credit history outweighed the positive effect of removing such an old negative item.

    So it would depend allot on wether that is the oldest account you have and the age of the next in line. YMMV
  3. faztcobra

    faztcobra Well-Known Member

    That doesnt make sense to me. That's like saying that I can't have a long credit history because I didn't keep open an old acct. It also doesnt make sense w/ what I'm seeing on my reports. I don't have any accts that are 10 yrs old, but myfico.com says that I have a 10 yr history. So I think they take into acct all of your accts, no matter how old...just the further back they are, the less they count.
  4. Slavic

    Slavic Well-Known Member

    Re: Just how imp is length of open

    You may be right. I'm not reporting from personal experience. My oldest accounts used to be additional user accounts and when they were closed they were deleted entirely and length of credit history became one of the negative items, but them being AU accounts it's comparing apples and oranges. I based my reply on what I red on the subject and may be wrong. Any correction is appreciated. I'll try to find the posts I was referring to.
  5. Slavic

    Slavic Well-Known Member

    Re: Just how imp is length of open

    OK, so as reported in below linked current thread closed accounts count towards your credit history length:
    Credit length and closed account

    CLOSING an old account will not affect length of credit history, but DELETING will. I couldn't find the post I referred to previously, but now that I thought about it I think what happened is that an old CLOSED positive line was DELETED, negatively affecting the score, and the person was upset because there was no way to update the reports with this already closed account.

    In this case as it's his smallest line the negative effect on his overall utilization ratio would be minimal and in case it got deleted if it was not THE oldest card would only affect average age of accounts and not total length of credit history so It shouldn't hurt that much.

    Closing your good accounts is generally not a good idea though because it can negatively effect your length of credit history, average age of accounts and overall utilization ratio. I'm sure it has been discussied here, but here are a few fatwallet threads on the subject that convinced me:

    Does closing credit cards affect your credit score and/or FICO?
    http://www.fatwallet.com/forums/mes...d=159097&highlight_key=y&keyword1=credit card

    What is the optimal number of credit cards to have open at a time, in relation to credit rating?
    http://www.fatwallet.com/forums/mes...d=209998&highlight_key=y&keyword1=credit card

    Canceling less-desirable credit cards
    http://www.fatwallet.com/forums/mes...d=176104&highlight_key=y&keyword1=credit card

    Thrifty 19-year old asks whether he should cancel "dormant" credit cards?
    http://www.fatwallet.com/forums/mes...d=197497&highlight_key=y&keyword1=credit card
  6. faztcobra

    faztcobra Well-Known Member

    Re: Re: Just how imp is length of open

    Wow. Thanks for looking all that up!
  7. Slavic

    Slavic Well-Known Member

    Re: Re: Just how imp is length of o

    Check out this current thread:
    7 positives gone 1 day, what 2 do??

    This is exactly the situation I was referring to in the example I gave you. Positive accounts should stay on your records, while negative are to be deleted in 2 to 10 years I believe depending on what type of entry it is. However, these things happen and if your positive closed accounts have been closed for a while the creditor may not have records from which to update and then you are stuck with what you have left.
  8. RobertEG

    RobertEG Active Member

    FICO uses the average age of all accounts on your credit report. There is no part of the average age calculation that just looks just at open accounts. So, I agree. But dont have them deleted from your report, even though closed, if they have substantial history.

    If they are positive accounts, they will stay on your reports for 10 years after they are closed, and in the meantime they will continue to contribute to average age.
  9. apexcrsrv

    apexcrsrv Well-Known Member

    Cough . . . someone blow the dust off of this.
  10. Hedwig

    Hedwig Well-Known Member

    I know--about four or five of them. Now people will be wanting to use 5-year old techniques that don't work anymore.
  11. scubamate

    scubamate Member

    Can't they be locked?

Share This Page