Credit card issuers are on a rampage – cutting credit limits, increasing interest rates, and closing inactive credit card accounts. Though you don’t have much control over rising interest rates and decreased credit limits, you can keep your credit cards open by using them every once in awhile.
Why are creditors closing inactive cards?
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Credit card companies don’t make any money on accounts that aren’t used. In fact, it costs them money. During this credit crisis, it’s risky for credit card companies to have unused credit cards on their books, because it’s hard to predict what you’re going to do with the credit card. You could decide to max out the card one day and never pay back the balance. In this case, it’s cheaper for the credit card company to just let you go.
Why should I care?
Another part of your credit score measures your level of debt by comparing your total balances to your total credit limits. The higher your credit card balances in relation to your credit limits, the lower your credit score will be. Having a credit card closed raises your ratio of balances to credit limits – your credit utilization – and lowers your credit score.
What can I do?
If your credit card has recently been closed, call your credit card issuer and request to have your account reopened. It helps if you’ve been a long-time, timely-paying customer.
Keep your credit card open by using it periodically and paying the balance off when the billing statement comes. By doing this, you’re letting your credit card know that you still appreciate and use the credit card.