Should you close a paid-off credit card?

Should you close a paid-off credit card?
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Finally paying off a credit card and becoming debt free is a great feeling! But what you do next is so important, because you could end up doing more harm than good.

Why you don’t want to close credit accounts

Once you get that card paid off, don’t close the account. When you close a credit account, it lowers your overall available credit, and you don’t want to do that. Why? Because what makes up one-third of your credit score is how much of your available credit you’re using, and if you lower that total amount, then you’ll be using up a bigger percentage of your overall available credit.

Read more: What is a good credit score?

You only want to use 30% of your total available credit at any one time. If you close an account and lower your overall amount, that will raise the percentage you’re using, and could end up lowering your credit score.

Read more: Clark’s Credit Score Guide

Clark Howard About the author:
Clark Howard is a consumer expert whose goal is to help you keep more of the money you make. His national radio show and website show you ways to put more money in your pocket, with advice you can trust. More about Clark
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