Does anyone know of the ‘rule of thumb’ when it comes to closing accounts that appear on the credit report, with zero balances? We’ve paid off a few things and they are at 0.00 but I’m not sure if I should close them to reduce the number of accounts OR leave them open? Not sure which is better.
You should keep them open; your credit history (length you had a credit account open) is a very important part of your credit score. Leave them open as they actually help your credit score by having “proof” of your credit history. The older the credit line, the more credible you look to potential lenders in the future.
I’m going to add though, in many cases, if you don’t want to use the account again, I do close them. My fella has all these different accounts open and owes on ALL of them. When he wanted to get a loan to pay all those off, and go to a smaller payment with 1 check a month, he was denied because he ‘has too much credit’. He has no way out.
All others are gone and some are at level payments every month. I can add more if I want to, but I really hope to get out from all the others before doing anything else.