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Ask Dave

Better To Leave Them Open?

Wayne and his wife are disagreeing. One of them wants to keep the credit card open so their FICO score will be better, and the other one doesn't.

QUESTION: Wayne paid off some credit cards, and his wife thinks it’s good to have open credit cards on their credit report, but he wants to close them. Can Dave settle the dispute?

ANSWER: It depends on what your goals are. If you want to go into debt and stay in debt a long time, then you should keep them open. If you don’t want to be in debt, then why do you care about keeping them open? My credit score is zero. Your credit bureau report score is based on how much debt you have. If you want to get out of debt and stay out, you can’t worship at the altar of the FICO score. Close them and pay cash for stuff for the rest of your life.