Need advice on which cards to close

Discussion in 'Credit Talk' started by sm691, Aug 3, 2001.

  1. sm691

    sm691 Well-Known Member

    Hello everyone!! I have decided to take a look at my cards and close one or two of them...I just don't need them, and they are too much temptation!! I would like your advice on which ones to close based on how it would affect my score to close them. I will list the terms etc.

    1) Newest is Juniper Bank, 0% int. till Sept. 8th then 15.49%. I have a balance which I plan to pay off b4 the 0% runs out. This was opened in 5/2001. I love thier customer service, overnight posting of on-line limit on this one is $10,000. (They have no rewards program...)

    2) Next is Nextcard (I know what you all think about them) and I have had problems with them, but the rate is 10.9% fixed (I think) and I was able to get them to waive the rewards program fee for this year. Limit is $3,800, currently no balance. It was opened in 7/2000.

    3) Lastly is First Consumers National Bank, opened in 6/2001 with a limit of $1800. They do not have on-line access and the rate is something like 18%. I called to close last week and when she asked why I told her the rate was too high. She told me that she would put in a request for a lower rate. If I don't get at least 12% or lower, I would like to close, but will closing this one negatively affect my score???

    I also have an AMEX Gold that we just got that I use for my husbands business travel. We are in the process of rebuilding credit for him and he as a First Consumers National Bank secured with a piddly $150 limit. I would like to come up with some way to combine my card and his secured card with them...

    Eventually I would like to get rid of all but 1 of the above and just keep that one with my AMEX. Any suggestions or hints on the above companies would be GREATLY appreciated!!

  2. curiouser

    curiouser Well-Known Member

    If these are the only cards you carry, don't close any. I calculate that you have $14,600 credit extended. Closing only FCNB drops your available credit by 12.3%. Closing only Next Card drops available credit by 26%. Closing only Juniper drops AC by 68%. These figures are huge when you consider them in terms of your debt to credit ratio.

    Hypothetically, if you are carrying a $2000 balance, with all cards open, you are using 13.6% of your available credit. Nice amount; no one gets nervous. Close FCNB and you're up to 15.6%; still okay, but your credit reports show higher utilization without increased spending. If you closed Next Card your utilization figures jump from 13.6% to 18.5%. Close both Next and FCNB and utilization jumps to 20%, all without increased spending. Your FICO scores could take a hit, especially if you are carrying a balance larger than $2000. Take a look at a $6000 balance. With all cards open, you would have 41% utilization, with only Juniper open you'd have 60%.
  3. Dani

    Dani Well-Known Member

    Hi Shanna,

    Here is my $.02 cents.

    Juniper - Definitely keep. The interest rate is a little high (this can be negotiated), but it has a large credit limit. Juniper also has a very good reputation and is known for their good customer service.

    NextCard - Mixed.
    Pros - This is the oldest card on your account. Since you have had it for a year your score is gradually increasing and will increase until it maximizes in the third year. The credit limit is decent and the interest rate is low.
    Cons - NextCard is famous for jacking up interest rates on a moment's notice and they are not known for the having the best customer service dept. in the biz. My suggestion is to keep it until another one of your cards hits the year mark and then cancel. If Nextcard starts causing you problems before then cancel it (eg. absurd interest rate increases). You may a lose a couple FICO points, but it will be worth it.

    First Consumer Bank - Cancel. Low credit limit and too high interest rate. Since it is was opened so recently it probably will not affect your score.

    Amex Gold - Definitely keep. Their customer service is the best. Have your tried adding your husband on as an authorized user to your account? I know there is an charge for an additional card, but it should help to improve his credit standing.

    Hope this helps.

  4. bailey

    bailey Well-Known Member

    I think Dani gave great advice:)

    Curiuos if you had others accounts that you may have closed?? I remember reading that Juniper requireda certain score and also a few accounts with a few years history??

  5. Mist

    Mist Well-Known Member


    Curiouser gave you some very good advice. Get some zero balances on a few and only 'use' one or two. Put the others with zero balances away, out of sight and mind, but don't 'officially' close them. Just consider them closed to yourself. The debt to credit limit ratio is very important and you could shoot yourself in the foot if you close any of your accounts.
  6. Geo

    Geo Well-Known Member

    I these are all the cards you have... don't close any. Keep all them!!.
  7. Dani

    Dani Well-Known Member

    Thank you, Bailey :) Have a great weekend.


  8. sm691

    sm691 Well-Known Member

    Thank you all...just to clairify, I have several store cards also, total of $6300 creidt limits, only $850 outstanding which will be paid off in a month or so. I keep these cards open mainly for thier discount offers (10% off if you use your card) and because they are much older than my major credit cards. Does this change any of your recomendations??

    I would like to dump FCNB...if it won't affect my FICO much...then I could work on nextcard for a limit increase.

    Also about AMEX, my husband does have his own card on my account, but how can I tell if he is an "authorized user"?? Does that mean that it reports to the bureaus??


  9. Dani

    Dani Well-Known Member


    My hubby is an authorized user on my Amex Blue and it does report on all three of his credit reports. If you want to double check to see if Amex is reporting him, you (or him) can pull his report at it's $8.50 for the report only or $12.95 for his Beacon score and credit report.

  10. sm691

    sm691 Well-Known Member

    excellent! THANKS!!


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