Would like some guidance relative to credit cards...specifically what to close, what to keep, and how high of an available balance to keep, as we pay off balances...Thanks!
Thank you for your question. This is a great question, but one that I can't answer with certainty because of the science (pun intended) behind the credit scoring methodologies. Having said that, there are some general guidelines and things to consider before closing an account, as doing so could negatively impact your credit score.
It could make sense to close to a credit card account in the following situations, but keep in mind that even in these situations, it's still possible your score could be lowered:
It is generally not a good idea to close a credit card account in these situations:
It's also important to note that closing a credit card account will not immediately remove it from your credit report. Positive account history remains on your credit report for 10 years from the last date of activity, and negative account history typically remains for 7 years.
To sum it all up, it may or may not make sense to close a credit card account as closing the account could lower your credit score. You may be better off leaving the account(s) open and simply putting the cards away so you aren't tempted to use them and accrue more debt.
I hope this helps as you continue on your journey of paying off the balances. You can also check out USAA's Debt Manager tool to see if there is a way to pay off the balances faster.