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I'm not an expert on credit scores, but I have done a good bit of research on how they're impacted by different variables. I know that a long history of a line of credit is seen as a positive; however, many open accounts can be weighted as a negative.

Is there a general guideline for balancing this? Specifically, while our credit score is 'excellent', we have around 10-15 lines of credit (e.g., department store cards, major creditors, mortgage, etc.) -- many of the department store cards we don't even use. Would we be better off leaving the lines of credit open so that they reflect a longer history of credit, or should we close them out to cut down on the number of lines of credit we have open?

  • Since when are many accounts any appreciable negative? – Loren Pechtel May 31 '15 at 1:29
  • From scoreinfo.org: Your FICO® Score also looks at the total number of accounts you have. Consumers with a moderate number of credit accounts appearing on their credit bureau report represent lower risk than consumers with either a relatively large number of credit accounts or a very limited number of credit accounts. – MrDuk May 31 '15 at 20:34
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If you do close accounts that you don't use, make sure that you keep the average age of your accounts over 9 years. That means if there are some new accounts you wish to open, it will be helpful to have those older accounts, even if you don't use them. When the rest of your accounts age a little more there will be less effect removing the accounts that you don't use. Without knowing the age of each account I can't make any recommendations, but they probably have more of a positive impact than negative on your credit score if they are improving the average age of all lines significantly.

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