Will canceling a credit card hurt my score?

Discuss the Visa & MasterCard payment networks as well as cards that operate through them.
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Will canceling a credit card hurt my score?

Postby jp811 » Thu Nov 22, 2012 7:50 pm

Here's my situation:

I have one credit card and one debit card. I've always paid the credit card off on a monthly basis. Twice since I've had my credit card, it has been canceled and reissued due to someone else attempting to make fraudulent charges on it after they had stolen the number somehow.

The card issuer tells me that, most likely, it was stolen by someone that works at a place I have shopped at some point. What is interesting, however, is that I've used my debit card in most of the same places, and no one has ever tried to defraud me out of money by stealing my debit card number.

I'm beginning to think that the issuer of my credit card has internal security problems and is not safeguarding my personal information. That's about the only way I can read this situation, at least from my own standpoint and keeping in mind that I'm not a genius of banking or credit card systems.

In any case, I was considering getting a second credit card and the canceling the first one. Closing a credit account supposedly can harm your credit. I would like to know to what degree this might happen?

If it helps, I've had my credit card for about 18 months, it is my first and only credit card, and I've always paid it off monthly.

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Postby trumpet-205 » Thu Nov 22, 2012 11:02 pm

As long as you get the second card first and use it for a month (so its first statement is posted), you will have no problem to close the first card.

A closed card stays on your credit report for 10 years, so it will not hurt your credit score. I have to ask though, have you ever used this card for online shopping, restaurant, or unattended machine (like parking meter, charging station, gas station, vending machine, etc?)
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Postby MemberSince99 » Fri Nov 23, 2012 8:20 am

There are two things that would hurt your score potentially - one is if your utilization goes up, but it doesn't sound like this is the case at all, and two is if your AAoA falls (average age of account) and with 18 months, it might fall a little bit, but it won't last long.

I would say once you get and start using the new card, you should be safe to close the one you have. If you believe that security is compromised, worry more about that than your score, which will be fine in the long run anyway.

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Postby MaxPunishment » Sat Dec 15, 2012 12:26 am

Your situation is unique given the fraud concerns with it, but if you only have one card the general consensus would be definitely not to close it given the damage it can to your AAoA. I would leave it open but no longer use it and just monitor it for fradulent activity for a few months as you start to use another card or two. Then when you close that account, the damage won't be as severe

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