Will cancelling my first credit card hurt my score?

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

Postby newcomer » Mon Jun 24, 2013 12:45 pm


I wish to cancel my existing Visa card. I have no pending balance in it and wish to cancel to avoid paying annual fee on it. My concern is: will it affect my credit score?

It was my first credit card so I am also concerned that if this goes away, will my credit score (that I earned using it) will also go away?

Thanks for your time.

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Postby flan » Mon Jun 24, 2013 6:05 pm

The short answer is "maybe".

It won't hurt your FICO score, which doesn't distinguish between closed and open accounts (mostly.). The account will appear, along with your payment history, on your credit report for a number of years (as many as 10, but it depends). But, and it's a big but, if it's your only reporting account, it will reduce your chances of getting credit. No open accounts is a red flag to lots of lenders, particularly prime ones. Despite what people on some forums (particularly myfico) like to say, FICO scores are not the only thing lenders look at.

there a couple things you can do. First, if you've had the card a year or more, and haven't missed any payments, and you're employed (or a student), you can probably get a card from someone else, probably one with no annual fee. Second, you can call the lender and ask them waive or lower the fee. Some will, some won't, it doesnt' hurt anything but your pride to ask.

Tell us more about your background (what the card is, what the fee is, what your income is, any negatives on your credit history), and people will give you more specific advice.

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Postby im_mr_awesome » Mon Jun 24, 2013 6:50 pm

I agree with flan. If your credit is clear of baddies and you want to maintain/improve your credit, I'd add a card or two before thinking about canceling this one. If you have a few credit cards, it can look better than just having one credit card, regardless of whether you close this one or not.

Just as general advice, it's always good to keep older lines of credit open, as they improve your average age of accounts (AAoA). It's also good to have multiple card accounts with multiple banks through multiple processing networks. Example: have a Chase Visa, an AmEx Charge card, a CapitalOne MasterCard, and maybe even a Discover card. Having more lines of credit with a balance only on one or two will help your score as well as improve chances of credit being extended to you in the future (home loans, car loans, etc).

As flan said, tell us a little more about your credit history and we can help you out from there.
Scores on the mend...
FICO: 654 (7/2017, AMEX), Vantage: 663 (CK)
Cards I Use Amex Premier Rewards Gold, Discover IT, Capital One QuickSilver MC, Amex Gold Delta (for the free bag)
Sock Drawer Chase Amazon, AE Visa, CareCredit, several store cards for util padding
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